The United States reiterated its support for Cyprus’ natural gas exploration projects, following the country’s awarding of an exploration licence in the Mediterranean to Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum this week.
“The US policy on the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone is longstanding and has not changed. The United States recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop the resources in its exclusive economic zone,” a State Department spokesperson said on Saturday, responding to Turkey’s reaction to Cyprus’ exploration license.
Turkey on Thursday accused Cyprus of violating its continental shelf by awarding an exploration licence to the two companies, saying it will not allow unauthorised exploration in its jurisdiction.
Cyprus’s cabinet on Thursday said it would grant a licence to Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum for hydrocarbon exploration in a section of Cyprus’ declared exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which lies south, south-west of the island.
Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the move violated its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus said the area in question was part of the island’s continental shelf.