Turkish provocative actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone are not acceptable, US Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber has said.
Quoting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remarks during his official visit to Athens, Garber said operations in international waters are governed by rules.
“We made clear to Turkey that these provocative actions are unacceptable,” the US diplomat added, noting that the US will continue to take diplomatic steps “to ensure lawful activity.”
“We continue to work on this issue very hard and I will to do so in the future,” Garber concluded.
Turkey has dispatched its drill ship Yavuz to the Cypriot EEZ with the intention of carrying out drilling operations in Cyprus’ 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 hydrocarbon exploration. Moreover, since 4 May 2019, a second 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 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)