A Turkish seismic research vessel was sailing off the coast of Cyprus on Thursday morning after Ankara issued a navigational telex reserving parts of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in a move that Washington has reportedly called “provocative.”
The Barbaros was spotted off the coast of Famagusta at 6 a.m. after sailing from the Turkish port of Tasucu late on Wednesday, following the Navtex, reserving blocks 2 and 3, and a part of block 13, all of which are within Cyprus’ EEZ, off the divided island’s southeastern coast.
The development comes after Ankara earlier this week said that it would suspend seismic survey plans in an area within Greece’s continental shelf off the Aegean island of Kastellorizo, pending talks with Athens.
According to Greek media, the move on Cyprus prompted a fresh reaction from Washington.
“The United States remains deeply troubled by Turkey’s intended plans to explore for natural resources within Cyprus’ waters. Such provocative actions increase tension in the region,” an unnamed State Department official was reported as telling Greek journalists, in translated comments.
“We urge the Turkish authorities to cease these operations,” the spokesperson was reported as saying.