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‘Τurkey may not respect Cyprus’ EEZ but the US does’

PSEKA delegates in Washington

The US State Department’s Special Envoy and Coordinator for international energy affairs Amos Hochstein has said that while Turkey may not respect the EEZ of Cyprus, the United States does and said without “resolution in Cyprus” no pipelines can go through its EEZ from Israel to Turkey.

Hochstein, who was addressing the 32nd Congress of the International Coordinating Committee’s Justice for Cyprus, also known as PSEKA, on Wednesday, also called energy a “game changer” and an incentive for a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

“In 2011 Noble Energy was exploring in Aphrodite. Turkish F-16s were flying over and there was other naval activity. But they stopped and since then there was no interference in Cyprus’ ability to explore its offshore,” he said.

He added, “yes, the Barbaros was there, but it never got in the way of any of the international company vessels that were doing business in the offshore of Cyprus.

“They made their statements, but we made it clear, from the moment that Secretary (Hillary) Clinton said in 2011 that the United States supports Cyprus’ right to explore its offshore,” he recalled, adding that “we repeated it every time it has even been a suggestion of interference.

“I think what is better than a warship is the diplomatic means being able to make sure that the bottom line is more important,” he added.

According to the US State Department official “Turkey may not respect the EEZ of Cyprus, but the United States does; and Cyprus is a member of EU; and there cannot be pipelines going to Turkey from any country, for the simple reason that they go through the EEZ of Cyprus.

“The condition for being able to get Israeli gas to Turkey is conditioned on resolution in Cyprus, because it cannot go through the EEZ of Cyprus,” he said.

So, he concluded, “what is important, everybody else is respecting, and de facto Turkey is doing as well.”

Hochstein is set to have a meeting with government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, who is also in Washington, later on Thursday.

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