articles | 15 May 2018

Cyprus to forge ahead with natural gas plans

Cyprus will forge ahead with natural gas plans, having international law and the international community on its side, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said recently.

He was responding to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who warned of instability in the area if Cyprus continued.

“If the Greek Cypriot side insists on continuing its unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, security and stability in the area will be continuously in danger. I am saying this openly and clearly…” Erdogan was quoted as saying during a visit to Britain.

Prodromou said the island’s energy plans were in line with international law and had the support of Russia and the US, as well as the European Council.

“What’s certain is that the Republic of Cyprus has international legality on its side and the support of the international community and of course it will continue to exercise its sovereign rights in cooperation with neighbouring countries with which we have agreements, but also with EU member states,” Prodromou said.

The spokesman said Turkey’s provocations have already received a response from the European Council that urged Ankara to refrain from illegal actions that caused tensions.

If Turkey meant what it said about not wanting tension in the area, the way to show it is by supporting the resumption of the reunification negotiations, Prodromou added.

“Turkey can really contribute by accepting the parameters set by the UN Secretary-General for the abolition of guarantees and withdrawal of the army, to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem and truly have conditions without tensions.”

In February, Turkish warships prevented Italian energy company ENI from drilling in a field inside block 6 of the Republic’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Turkey argues it is safeguarding the rights of Turkish Cypriots, but it also has its own claims inside Cyprus’ EEZ.

The government has made it clear that it recognises Turkish Cypriot rights, which they can exercise as part of the island’s reunification.

The Greek Cypriot side says Turkish and Turkish Cypriot claims over hydrocarbon exploration are overridden by the convergences already reached on the issue during negotiations.

The two sides had agreed the exploitation of natural resources would be the responsibility of a federal state in reunited Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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