ENERGY: Cyprus slams Turkish activities in its EEZ as ‘second invasion’

President Nicos Anastasiades said Turkish activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone are akin to a second invasion of the island noting his government is monitoring the situation with a vigilant eye.

He said the Turkish move creates insurmountable obstacles to a possible resumption of the UN-brokered talks for a Cyprus settlement as it is impossible for one to speak of peace under threats.

Turkey issued on Friday a Navtex advising that its drillship Fatih would be conducting drilling operations in an area west of Paphos from May 3 to September 3.

This is a clear violation of international law or, as I would describe it, a second invasion, considering the violation of the Republic of Cyprus EEZ,” Anastasiades said.

In a letter Anastasiades sent to the UN Secretary-General he described the Turkish moves as a destructive blow and asked whether talks could resume while Fatih remains 40 miles off Cyprus,

It is impossible for one to speak of peace under threats. And not just threats but an active violation of the international law.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is monitoring developments following Turkeys decision to send drillship into Cyprus waters, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

Speaking during his regular briefing, Dujarric said: “Regarding Turkey’s decision to send ships to begin offshore drilling operations around Cyprus, the Secretary-General is monitoring the developments closely with concern.”

“Our position on hydrocarbons exploration has not changed. Offshore hydrocarbons have the potential to benefit both communities in Cyprus,” he added.

The Secretary-General recalls that the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader have previously agreed in their negotiations that natural resources in a unified Cyprus would lie within the competence of the future federal government.

Dujarric said UNSG every effort should be to be made to reduce tensions.

Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004.

The island has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

Source: The Financial Mirror