ENERGY: Nicosia slams Turkey’s second attempt to drill in Cyprus waters

Cyprus on Monday strongly condemned Turkey’s second incursion into its EEZ to drill for oil and gas in a tension-escalating move after the EU warned Ankara to stop its ‘illegal’ activities or face sanctions.

The Cypriot government condemns in the strongest terms the new illegal Turkish drilling in the east of Cyprus, in the sea area off the Karpas peninsula, within the territorial waters of the Republic, said a statement from the Cypriot presidency.

The attempted second drilling, just two months after the start of the illegal drilling west of Cyprus within the Cypriot EEZ, is an escalation of continued violations by Turkey, the statement added.

Cyprus said it would take all the necessary legal, political and diplomatic moves to defend its legitimate rights as a sovereign nation.

Turkey has sent a second ship the 229-metre (750-feet) Yavuz — to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, after the Fatih vessel entered the island’s exclusive economic zone for the first time in May.

This prompted EU leaders in June to warn Turkey that it would impose targeted and appropriate sanctions if it did not stop its illegal activities.

In its statement, the Cyprus government said: Turkey continues to violate international lawdisrespecting the calls of the European Union and the international community to end its illegal actions.

Nicosia accused Ankara of deliberately avoiding dialogue in order to create a new fait accompli.

It said only a resumption of Cyprus talks leading to a peace settlement could resolve this matter once and for all.

Ankara must realise that the only way to deal with the problems its own making, is to immediately proceed to an intensive and decisive dialogue that will lead us to a solution, said the presidency .

The region near the divided island is believed have rich natural gas deposits, triggering a race between Turkey and the internationally recognised Cyprus, which also plans to ramp up its exploratory activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus has issued arrest warrants for Fatih’s crew members and accused the ship of breaching the republic’s sovereign territory.

That drew the wrath of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“They will apparently arrest our boats’ personnel. You will come off badly if you do so,” he said last month.

He added that Turkey would not back down from searching for gas “in those areas that are ours”.

The island has been divided between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and the northern third under Turkish military control since 1974, formed after Ankara’s troops occupied the area in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.

Ankara says its actions abide by international law and that it is drilling inside its continental shelf.

Turkey opposes unilateral moves of exploration activities by EU member Cyprus off the Mediterranean and says Turkish Cypriots have rights to a share of the island’s offshore resources.

Brussels and the United States urged Turkey to reconsider plans to start exploratory drilling off the island.

Energy giants Total of France and Italy’s ENI are heavily involved in exploring for oil and gas off Cyprus as is ExxonMobil of the US.

Source: The Financial Mirror

ENERGY: Nicosia slams Turkey’s second attempt to drill in Cyprus waters

Cyprus on Monday strongly condemned Turkey’s second incursion into its EEZ to drill for oil and gas in a tension-escalating move after the EU warned Ankara to stop its ‘illegal’ activities or face sanctions.

The Cypriot government condemns in the strongest terms the new illegal Turkish drilling in the east of Cyprus, in the sea area off the Karpas peninsula, within the territorial waters of the Republic, said a statement from the Cypriot presidency.

The attempted second drilling, just two months after the start of the illegal drilling west of Cyprus within the Cypriot EEZ, is an escalation of continued violations by Turkey, the statement added.

Cyprus said it would take all the necessary legal, political and diplomatic moves to defend its legitimate rights as a sovereign nation.

Turkey has sent a second ship the 229-metre (750-feet) Yavuz — to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, after the Fatih vessel entered the island’s exclusive economic zone for the first time in May.

This prompted EU leaders in June to warn Turkey that it would impose targeted and appropriate sanctions if it did not stop its illegal activities.

In its statement, the Cyprus government said: Turkey continues to violate international lawdisrespecting the calls of the European Union and the international community to end its illegal actions.

Nicosia accused Ankara of deliberately avoiding dialogue in order to create a new fait accompli.

It said only a resumption of Cyprus talks leading to a peace settlement could resolve this matter once and for all.

Ankara must realise that the only way to deal with the problems its own making, is to immediately proceed to an intensive and decisive dialogue that will lead us to a solution, said the presidency .

The region near the divided island is believed have rich natural gas deposits, triggering a race between Turkey and the internationally recognised Cyprus, which also plans to ramp up its exploratory activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus has issued arrest warrants for Fatih’s crew members and accused the ship of breaching the republic’s sovereign territory.

That drew the wrath of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“They will apparently arrest our boats’ personnel. You will come off badly if you do so,” he said last month.

He added that Turkey would not back down from searching for gas “in those areas that are ours”.

The island has been divided between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and the northern third under Turkish military control since 1974, formed after Ankara’s troops occupied the area in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.

Ankara says its actions abide by international law and that it is drilling inside its continental shelf.

Turkey opposes unilateral moves of exploration activities by EU member Cyprus off the Mediterranean and says Turkish Cypriots have rights to a share of the island’s offshore resources.

Brussels and the United States urged Turkey to reconsider plans to start exploratory drilling off the island.

Energy giants Total of France and Italy’s ENI are heavily involved in exploring for oil and gas off Cyprus as is ExxonMobil of the US.

Source: The Financial Mirror