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EU Council 'deplores' lack of response from Ankara over calls to cease Cyprus drilling

TAGS: Turkey, Cyprus, EU

The Council of the European Union has expressed “serious concerns over Turkey's current illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and deplores that Turkey has not yet responded to the European Union's repeated calls to cease such activities.”

In the conclusions of a meeting on European enlargement on Tuesday, the Council warned with regards to Turkey's continuing exploration for gas deposits off the coast of Cyprus, of “the serious immediate negative impact that such illegal actions have across the range of EU-Turkey relations” and called on Ankara to “show restraint.”

“The EU will closely monitor developments and stands ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus,” it said, adding that it “invites the Commission and the European External Action Service to submit options for appropriate measures without delay.”

“Turkey must avoid threats and actions that damage good neighborly relations, normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU Member States over their territorial sea and airspace as well as all their sovereign rights, including inter alia the right to explore and exploit natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including UNCLOS,” the Council said.

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