US ambassador calls for Barbaros to leave EEZ

The US ambassador to Cyprus, John Koenig, on Friday backed calls from the United Nations mediator on the island, Espen Barth Eide, for the Turkish research vessel Barbaros to leave Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The ship has been in the Cypriot EEZ since last month but Koenig suggested in an interview with state broadcaster RIK that the Barbaros is breaching the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and should leave so that reunification talks on the island can resume.

Koenig said that the US also supports Eide’s proposals on discussions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots about hydrocarbons.

Nicosia, however, wants to keep this issue out of the peace talks and has rejected Eide’s proposal for the formation of a joint committee.

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