Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

US, Egypt warn Turkey over drilling off Cyprus

US, Egypt warn Turkey over drilling off Cyprus

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.

Earlier this month, Cyprus said it has launched legal proceedings against three firms that it accuses of supporting illegal Turkish oil and gas exploration in its waters.

The United States expressed its concern on Tuesday over escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean prompted by Turkey's attempt to drill for oil and gas in the waters off Cyprus.

Thus the European Union bloc will now have to intervene to resolve such disputes.

Cyprus says Turkey is encroaching in waters where the country has exclusive economic rights while the European Union warned Turkey of sanctions.

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The second Turkish vessel, "Yavuz, ' has sailed to an area off the Karpas peninsula on Cyprus" east coast. The island is split in two: Cyprus, considered the Greek part of the island, is in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Turkish section, is in the north.

A well-informed EU source also revealed that more measures would include the re-evaluation of the European Investment Bank's activities in Turkey and a suspension of meetings between EU-Turkish officials.

"We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint and refrain from actions that increase tensions in the region". Several peacemaking efforts have failed and the discovery of offshore resources has complicated the negotiations.

Beginning last May, a Turkish ship named Fatih started drilling off the Mediterranean island.

"On their own, these measures. can not and will not stop the destabilising behaviour of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean or more generally", he told Cyprus' Sigma TV.

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