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Egypt expresses full solidarity with Cyprus, affirms rights and sovereignty over its resources

October 6, 2019 at 11:23am
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Egypt affirms the rights and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over its resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region in accordance with international law, including areas where Cyprus has granted a license to explore for oil and gas, the Foreign Ministry’s Official Spokesperson stressed on Saturday.

The Egyptian Ministry warned against the continuation of any unilateral actions that violate Cypriot rights and threaten the security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region, stressing the need to respect and implement the rules and provisions of international law.

According to the statement, “the Foreign Ministry`s Official Spokesperson of Egypt expressed on Saturday, October 5, 2019, Egypt`s affirmation of the rights and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over its resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region, in accordance with international law, including areas where Cyprus has granted a license to explore for oil and gas”.

The Spokesperson notes that “Cyprus has granted licenses for offshore oil and gas exploration and warns “of the repercussions of the continuation of any unilateral measures that violate Cyprus rights and threaten the security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region”, stressing the necessity of commitment to the respect and implementation of the rules and provisions of international law.

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 her 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 Zenon Coordination Centre of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels 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)