EU urges Turkey restraint in Cyprus energy dispute

NICOSIA: The European Union on Monday referred to as on Turkey to point out restraint and respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in a dispute over exploiting vitality wealth off the Mediterranean island.

Throughout a go to to Cyprus, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier reiterated the bloc’s backing for the EU member after it gave Turkey a stern message at a summit in Romania this month.

“We specific grave concern over Turkey’s introduced intention to hold out drilling actions inside the unique financial zone of Cyprus,” Barnier instructed reporters in Nicosia.

“We urgently name on Turkey to point out restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus… chorus from any such unlawful motion,” he added.

The senior EU official additionally advised there could be penalties if Ankara continued when saying the European Union “will reply appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus”.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has slammed Turkey’s drilling bid inside Cyprus waters as a “new invasion” and garnered assist from fellow European Union leaders.

The USA, Israel and Egypt have additionally come out towards Turkey’s incursion into the island’s EEZ.

“Turkey’s actions, that are de-stabilising within the jap Mediterranean area, have drawn broad condemnation from the worldwide group,” Cypriot Overseas Minister Nicos Christodoulides stated after talks with Barnier.

He stated Barnier was effectively conscious of the necessity for the EU to “react collectively and decisively” to cease Turkey’s violation of a member state’s sovereign rights.

Turkey says its actions abide by worldwide legislation and that it’s drilling inside its continental shelf, but it surely doesn’t recognise Cyprus as a sovereign or EU member state.

Cyprus has accelerated the event of offshore gasoline deposits and has signed offers with vitality giants Eni, Complete and ExxonMobil which have seen them perform exploratory drilling.

US vitality large ExxonMobil found the biggest pure gasoline reserve off the coast of Cyprus in February.

The “world-class discovery” is without doubt one of the largest finds worldwide in recent times with an estimated 5 to eight trillion cubic ft (141.5 to 226.5 cubic metres) of pure gasoline.

Ankara argues that such exploration deprives the Turkish Cypriot minority of benefiting from the island’s pure wealth.

In February 2018, a drill ship for Italy’s Eni deserted an try to seek for gasoline off Cyprus after it was blocked by Turkish warships.

Turkey has occupied the northern third of Cyprus since invading in 1974 in response to a Greek army junta-engineered coup aimed toward uniting the island with Greece.

The breakaway northern a part of the island declared independence in 1983, however it’s only recognised by Ankara.—AFP

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