Government rejects Milliyet report on drilling delay

The Cyprus government has rejected a report by Turkish daily “Milliyet” according to which the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side have pledged, in the framework of their UN-led negotiations on the Cyprus problem, a moratorium of hydrocarbons-related activities until July 31st.

Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said in a written statement that “claims by the Turkish newspaper Milliyet of a supposed deal, mediated by the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, to delay Total’s drilling schedule by 12 days in July, in exchange, no less, for the Barbaros not illegally entering the Cypriot exclusive economic zone are not only false, they verge on the ridiculous.

French energy giant Total is scheduled to carry out an exploratory drilling in block 11 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) during the first half of July.

Turkey has issued a navigational warning (NAVTEX) and has reserved an area within the Cyprus territorial sea, continental shelf and EEZ off the coast of Famagusta for the conduct of seismic surveys, between 21 April and 30 June 2017, by Barbaros and support vessel Brado Supporter.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency