The position expressed by the US State Department with regard to the activities of Turkish drillship Yavuz in the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial waters is supportive to Cyprus government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou told the Cyprus News Agency and expressed hope that the messages sent out to Ankara will change the Turkish government’s stance.
The spokesman also said that the US call for all actions to be based on legality and on cooperation is identical with the position of the Republic of Cyprus, which invited Turkey in the past to hold consultations in order to determine the EEZ between the two countries, as well as with the general position for a Cyprus settlement that would truly facilitate consultations and cooperation in the field of natural gas.
Invited to comment on statements by a US State Department spokesperson to CNA about Yavuz’s activities, the spokesman said that “the State Department’s position that only the government of the Republic of Cyprus has the power to decide about the drilling activities and its call on Turkey to remove Yavuz from Cyprus’ territorial waters are supportive to Cyprus.”
Prodromou noted that the importance of the position expressed by the US is self-evident, stressing that once again it is clear that the international community deplores and is against the illegal and destabilising actions of Turkey. Furthermore, he expressed hope that the messages sent out to Ankara will make the Turkish government face things with a different perspective and “allow, first of all, through substantive negotiations on the Cyprus problem, to establish relations governed by legality and cooperate.”
The US State Department spokesman told CNA, responding to a question, that the United States considers the activities of Turkish drillship Yavuz off the north-eastern coast of Cyprus as unlawful, and urges the Turkish authorities to cease them immediately and remove the drillship from the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial sea.
Moreover he noted, inter alia, that “only the Republic of Cyprus, acting through its government, can consent to activities such as drilling within its territorial sea.”
“The United States is concerned about the activities of the drillship Yavuz, which is operating within the territorial sea of the Republic of Cyprus. This provocative step raises tensions in the region,” he added.
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.
Turkey announced its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and send on 4 May 2019 the Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula, in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s north-eastern coast on 8 July 2019.
In response, EU Foreign Ministers endorsed on 15 July 2019 measures concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus. In accordance with the 20 June 2019 European Council conclusions, Foreign Ministers also invited the High Representative and the European Commission to continue working on options for targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
(Cyprus News Agency)