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Turkish illegal drillings in the Cyprus’ EEZ unacceptable, Pompeo says

October 6, 2019 at 9:07am
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the illegal Turkish drillings in the Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are unacceptable, as they violate international Law.

After his speech at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, in Athens, Pompeo was asked by journalists whether the USA is planning to proceed to the implementation of sanctions against Turkey due to its illegal operations in the Cyprus’ EEZ.

US Secretary of State responded that Washington will continue its efforts to persuade Turkey that these actions are in nobody’s interest.
“The dispute must not be militarized”, Pompeo said, while adding that the illegal drillings are unacceptable, as they violate the international legality.

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)