Nicosia dismisses Turkish allegations over its EEZ

Nicosia dismisses the positions of Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations Feridun H. Sinirlioglu who expresses in a letter to the UNSG grave concern regarding what he described as provocative act by the government of the Republic of Cyprus to grant an offshore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation licence for Block 6 of the Cyprus EEZ.

Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Kornelios Korneliou, told CNA that the contents of Sinirlioglus letter to the UN is a repetition of the standard position of Turkey which, of course, we dismiss, adding that our representations will continue where appropriate.

In a letter dated 12th April, Sinirlioglu expresses Turkeys grave concern regarding the provocative act by the Greek Cypriot Administration, as it describes the government of the Republic of Cyprus, to grant an offshore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation licence for the so-called Block 6 that partially falls within the outer limits of Turkey’s continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean.

Claiming that the outer limits of Turkey’s continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean were defined in Turkish notes verbales, dated 12 March 2013, he adds that the so-called offshore licence granted by the Greek Cypriot Administration for Block 6 on 6 April 2017 bears no legal effect on Turkey’s ipso facto and ab initio sovereign rights over its continental shelf for the purposes of exploration and exploitation of its natural resources.

Sinirlioglu further claims that Turkey is committed to protecting its sovereign rights emanating from international law and will not allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities on its continental shelf, as it was strongly underlined in several statements on the issue by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, most recently on 6 April 2017.

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades had stated that the Cyprus energy plans will be implemented according to the agreed timeframe signed between the state and the companies that were licensed in the islands EEZ.

UN-led peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Source: Cyprus News Agency