The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Germany, Nicos Christodoulides and Heiko Maas, discussed the illegal drilling by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and its behaviour in the region as well as the EU response to the Turkish moves.
In a Twitter message posted on Tuesday, Christodoulides said the two had an open and constructive exchange of views on issues concerning the EU, of regional and bilateral interest and the recent developments in Eastern Mediterranean.
They also discussed tourism issues, with Christodoulides underling Cyprus’ readiness to welcome again German tourists on the island from June 9 when airports in Cyprus will reopen.
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.
Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” arrived last April in the exclusive economic zone (ΕΕΖ) of Cyprus, after Ankara announced another attempt to drill a well in blocks licensed to European companies. This is the 6th time Turkey attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, this time in an area that covers part of exploration blocks 6 and 7, which have been licensed to ENI and TOTAL.
In a statement on May 15, EU Foreign Ministers deplored the fact that Turkey has not yet responded to EU calls to cease such activities and reiterated their call on Ankara to show restraint, refrain from such actions, and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus, in accordance with international law. EU Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed previous Council and European Council conclusions, notably those of June 2019 and October 2019 on Turkey’s continued illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.