President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday held a telephone conversation with Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with whom he discussed Turkey’s new illegal intrusion in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and decided to undertake concerted actions and démarches both at EU and UN level to address Turkey’s illegal activity, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said in a written statement.
“At the same time the two governments continue their close cooperation and absolute coordination at all levels”, said Prodromou.
The government of the Republic of Cyprus has strongly condemned Turkey’s new attempt to illegally conduct drilling operations in the south-west of the island, within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, calling once more on Turkey to immediately cease all its illegal activities and withdraw all its drilling and seismic vessels.
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 southwestern 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 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)