NEWS

Turkey ships harass drillship off Cyprus coast

TAGS: Cyprus, Turkey, Energy

Cyprus said on Saturday that it had an open line of communication with Italy after the Saipem 12000 drillship of energy giant ENI was reportedly forced to halt its course to Block 3 of the island's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by Turkish warships.

Ankara claims that large part of Cyprus's EEZ is part of its continental shelf and repeatedly warned Nicosia not take unilateral actions in the area. 

Speaking to state broadcaster Cybc on Saturday, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the Turkish vessels forced the captain to maneuver out of their way, while other reports said the Turkish ships ordered the drillship to change course.

“The foreign ministries of Italy and Cyprus are in constant contact,” Kasoulides said. 

The ship stopped its course to its intended destination on Friday when it was at a distance of 15 nautical miles – 70 kilometers off southeast coast of Cyprus. 

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