UNSG following developments regarding Turkish movements around Cyprus with concern, his spokeperson says

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is monotiring developments following Turkeys decision to send ships for drilling operations around Cyprus with concern, his spokeperson Stephane Dujarric has said, adding that “the Secretary-General urges efforts to be made to reduce tensions.”

Speaking during his regular briefing, Dujarric noted that “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.

He noted that 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.

“The Secretary-General urges efforts to be made to reduce tensions,” he concluded.

Turkey has issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Drillship Fatih is in an area west of the Akamas peninsula within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Source: Cyprus News Agency