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Merkel expresses concern over Turkey’s activities in Cyprus EEZ

October 11, 2019 at 8:11am
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her concern over Turkish activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the need for international law to prevail, during a telephone conversation she had on Thursday evening with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

In a written statement about the telephone conversation, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that President Anastasiades “informed the Chancellor over the recent development in the Cyprus problem and Turkey’s illegal actions in the Cypriot EEZ, and they discussed the forthcoming meeting of the European Council.”

“They also exchanged views on the ongoing Turkish invasion and military operations of Turkey in Syria, which violate international law,” Prodromou added.

During the conversation, he noted, the German Chancellor “expressed her concern over Turkish activities in the Cypriot EEZ and the need for international law to prevail.”

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)