Cyprus | Exploration and exploitation of block 5 not to affect Turkey
Defence Redefined
Published on 04/12/2021 at 18:30

The State Department responds to the threatening statements made by Turkey against Cyprus on the occasion of the concession of block 5 of the Cyprus EEZ to the consortium of ExxonMobil and the Qatar Oil Company. Asked to comment on Ankara’s stance, a US State Department spokesman confirmed that Washington continues to recognize the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop resources within its EEZ.

It is recalled that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which claims that the Turkish continental shelf extends to a part of the Cypriot EEZ, had stated that “Turkey, as before but also from now on, will not allow a foreign country, company or vessel to carry out hydrocarbon surveys without a license in the fields of its maritime jurisdiction, it will not give such an opportunity and will continue to resolutely defend the rights of our country and the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)’ (occupied part of Cyprus)”.

Responding to this position, the State Department spokesman noted that “the United States is closely monitoring developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. We call on the parties to take steps to help reduce tensions. The US policy for the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus is long-term and has not changed. The United States recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.”

The spokesman went on to say: “This is consistent with the US position on all states. In areas of overlapping maritime claims, we urge the parties to resolve their maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with International Law. We continue to believe that Cyprus’ oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be shared equally between the two communities.”

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Cyprus has given its own response to the provocative statements of the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry regarding the decision of the Republic of Cyprus to give authorization to ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum for research block 5 within the Cypriot EEZ.

According to a statement from the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The aforementioned statement demonstrates once again that Turkey disregards International Law, conventional and customary, as shown in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and does not respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus within its continental shelf and EEZ.”

Block 5 is located within the EEZ/continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, in a sea area in the southwest of the island, which has already been delimited, according to International Law, between the only relevant coastal states whose coasts are opposed, namely, the Republic of Cyprus and the Arab Republic of Egypt, with the 2003 EEZ Delimitation Agreement. The exploration and/or exploitation of block 5 is the exclusive sovereign right of Cyprus and does not affect the rights of any third country, including Turkey.

The expansion of ExxonMobil’s presence in the EEZ/mainland of Cyprus is a vote of confidence in the energy strategy of Cyprus. “Turkey, once again, refuses to comply with international law, making unfounded claims, contrary to the repeatedly expressed position of the international community.”

“The Republic of Cyprus will resolutely pursue its policy in the field of hydrocarbons, with full respect for International and European Law,” the announcement concludes.

Source: AMNA

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