Nicosia to delineate rest of exclusive economic zone, Anastasiades says


TAGS: Cyprus, Turkey, Diplomacy, Energy

Nicosia will delineate the rest of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), including the north and western part, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said, calling on Greece to offer its “observations” as the Cypriot zones abut Greece's EEZ. 

As for the timing of Nicosia's announcement of the move, which will be closely watched by Ankara, Anastasiades told reporters “that will be decided in due course.” 

Kathimerini understands that Athens has already agreed with the delineation of the remainder of Cyprus's EEZ, as the countries economic zones neighbor each other, and thus there is no reason for the matter to be discussed with Turkey which has been eying oil and gas exploration in the region. 

Anastasiades made this distinction clear in his comments on Saturday. “There is no issue of setting a dividing line between Turkey and Greece, but between Cyprus and Greece.” 

Questioned by reporters about possible reactions to the initiative by Ankara, Anastasiades said, “We will monitor it closely and we will respond and act accordingly.” 

According to sources, details about the delineation will be announced by Nicosia in the coming days. 

Last week, Turkey made an emphatic statement with regard to Cyprus by issuing a Navtex reserving an area covering 41,000 square kilometers off its southern coast, including almost the entirety of the island’s exclusive EEZ. This area includes Plot 6, where the Saipem 12000 deepwater drillship of the French-Italian consortium of energy giants Total and ENI has started drilling for hydrocarbons.

According to Ankara’s Navtex, the area was reserved so that a warship can tow an underwater device.