US State Department stresses Cyprus's right to develop resources in EEZ

TAGS: Cyprus, Diplomacy, Energy

The United States recognizes the right of Cyprus to develop the resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, and discourages any actions or statements that provoke a rise in tensions in the region, a State Department official has said.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the official said that Washington's policy on Cyprus’ EEZ was longstanding and has not changed, noting that the US "recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop its resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone."

“We continue to believe the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement," the official said.

"We discourage any actions or rhetoric that increase tensions in the region."

The official did not comment directly on threats from Ankara regarding the arrival in the region of a research vessel belonging to US company ExxonMobil.

In recent weeks Turkish warships have twice blocked a vessel bound for drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ block 3 on behalf of Italian company ENI.