US urges Ankara to halt drilling operations off Cyprus

US urges Ankara to halt drilling operations off Cyprus

The United Sates is “deeply concerned” by Turkey’s drilling operations off Cyprus, including plans to dispatch the drill ship Yavuz 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.

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