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Cyprus, France to remain in constant contact in view of discussion at European Council

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have agreed to remain in constant contact in view of the European Council meeting that will take place on October 17 and will discuss the illegal Turkish actions in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said.

In a written statement, Prodromou noted that President Anastasiades and President Macron had on Sunday a telephone conversation during which they discussed about  the illegal actions of Turkey within Block 7 of Cyprus’ EEZ and exchanged views on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

President Anastasiades and Macron discussed ways of reacting to these illegal actions and agreed that Cyprus and France will remain in constant contact during the next days until the EU Summit that will take place on October 17, Prodromou noted.

He also said that Macron reiterated the French position, denouncing Turkey`s illegal actions and noting that these interventions, which do not abide by the European and international law, have to be terminated.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk will include the new illegal actions of Turkey in the agenda of the forthcoming European Council, following a request by President Anastasiades during a telephone conversation they had on Friday.

According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship “Yavuz”, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7 has been licensed by the government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.

“Yavuz”, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” has been anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.

Cyprus has called on drill ship “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels to immediately cease illegal actions in the Republic’ Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf.

A navigational telex (navtex), published on the website of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels that they will face consequences and an international arrest warrant will be issued against them.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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