ENERGY: Cyprus salutes unprecedented EU support to thwart Turkish drilling

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades welcomed the EU adopting his recommendation for targeted measures against Turkey for violating Cyprus’ EEZ.

The European Council discussed Thursday the issue of illegal Turkish activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, raised by Nicosia.

“The President of the Republic expresses his utmost satisfaction with the current unanimous decision of the European Council. With this decision, the EU at the highest leveladopted the Presidents recommendation for targeted measures against Turkey,” said a Cyprus Presidency statement announcement.

Beyond the unanimous condemnation of Turkish provocations, for the first time, in a collective decision of the EUs highest body, it is underlined that unlawful acts against a Member State are not tolerated and have specific consequences.

The Presidency points out, the European Council urges Turkey to respect international law and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as dictated by the rules for good neighbourly relations, avoiding unnecessary tensions or unlawful acts leading to destabilization of the region.

“The commitment by the European Council to continue the close monitoring and follow-up of developments, as well as the launch of targeted measures without delay, is practical support for the protection of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus,” says the statement.

EU leaders reaffirmed the previous Conclusions of the General Affairs Council and the European Council, including the Conclusions of 22 March 2018, strongly condemning Turkey’s continuing illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean.

Their conclusion expressed grave concern about current illegal Turkish drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean and deplores the fact that Turkey has still not responded to the repeated calls by the EU to cease such activities.

The European Council underlined the serious, immediate, negative impact these illegal actions have across the range of EU-Turkey relations. It also calls on Turkey to show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus and refrain from any such actions.

Leaders in Brussels approved the decision of the General Affairs Council calling on both the European Commission and the European External Action Service to submit, without delay, proposals for appropriate measures, including targeted measures.

It also notes that the EU will continue to closely monitor developments while expressing its readiness to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.

Last month Turkey issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3.

Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship Fatih, accompanied by three service ships, is located in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey has sent a second drill ship to begin energy explorations off the Cyprus coast next month.

Source: The Financial Mirror