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US ‘deeply concerned’ with Turkey drilling in Cyprus

TAGS: Turkey, Diplomacy, US, Cyprus

The United States is “deeply concerned” by Turkey’s drilling operations off Cyprus, including plans to dispatch its Yavuz drillship south of Limassol, a State Department spokesman has said, urging Turkish authorities to cancel such plans.

This provocative step raises tensions in the region. We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations,” the spokesperson said during a press briefing in Washington.

The spokesman reiterated the standard US position that Washington recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop the resources in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), adding that only the Republic of Cyprus can assert maritime claims from the territory of Cyprus.

The spokesperson noted that Washington encourages all parties to act with restraint and refrain from actions that could escalate tensions in the region.

The US urges all states to resolve their maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law, the official added.

Meanwhile, Cypriot government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said on Wednesday that Turkey may have stolen technical data included in the technical studies conducted in Block 8 of Cyprus’ EEZ where Nicosia has licensed Italy’s Eni and France’s Total to conduct drilling operations.

“There’s information, which is probably correct, that they had stolen plans and studies,” Koushos told state-run ERT. However, he clarified that he wasn’t suggesting that Eni or Total gave Turkey the information.

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