Cyprus Foreign Ministry describes Turkish claims on third licensing round ‘unfounded’

Cyprus Foreign Ministry has said the interest exhibited by significant oil companies for licensing in Cyprus` EEZ is the best answer to Turkish claims, describing them as unfounded.

The Foreign Ministry made after a statement on Tuesday by the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry regarding Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone third licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration on blocks 6, 8 and 10.

It said that yesterday`s statements by the representative of the Turkish foreign Ministry regarding the third licensing round and block 6 of the Republic`s Exclusive Economic Zone are a repetition of the well known unacceptable and legally unfounded positions of Turkey and an expression of its provocative and changing stance.

The Republic of Cyprus, member of the United Nations and the European Union, is fully exercising, like any other member state of the international community, all its sovereign rights that derive from international law, including the sovereign rights on its Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf just as they are secured by the UN Convention on the law of the Sea. The Republic of Cyprus is determined, it says, to protect its sovereign rights, using all means provided by international law. If Turkey doubts these rights, it can seek, through peaceful means, international legal action, the statement noted.

It also said that the interest exhibited by significant oil companies for licensing in Cyprus` EAZ include block 6 and “this is the best answer to the Turkish claims””.

The Republic of Cyprus, it added, is determined to go ahead with the exploitation of its natural resources, especially its hydrocarbons, to promote the economic development and welfare of all the people of Cyprus, without discrimination. After a solution to the Cyprus problem, all the people of Cyprus will be in a position to benefit from this wealth. Therefore Turkey
needs only to cooperate and contribute to reaching a solution, it added.

Turkey, it concludes, must finally appreciate that the Republic of Cyprus is not willing to suspend exercising its sovereign rights and the continued dialogue to settle the Cyprus issue is not associated in any way with exercising these rights.

Minister of Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis announced last month the companies and consortia that have submitted applications for the third licensing round for offshore hydrocarbon exploration in blocks 6, 8 and 10 of Cyprus` EEZ.
Specifically, consortium Εni Cyprus Limited/Total E& P Cyprus B.V submitted an application for block 6.

Consortium Capricorn Oil (Cairn Energy)/ Delek Drilling/Avner Oil Exploration as well as Εni Cyprus Limited submitted applications for block 8.

For block 10 applications were submitted by consortium Εni Cyprus Limited/Total E&P Cyprus B.V, consortium ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Cyprus (offshore) Limited/Qatar Petroleum International Upstream O.P.C as well as Statoil Upsilon Netherlands B.V.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern third. To this day, Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: CNA

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