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Turkey says no more exploration ships necessary in eastern Med

FILE PHOTO: Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu

No further energy exploration or drilling ships are necessary in the eastern Mediterranean for now, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday as a dispute continued over Turkish drilling for gas and oil off the island of Cyprus.

In an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber, Cavusoglu said Turkey was ready for cooperation to reach a solution to the dispute over energy resources in the region.

The Turkish drillship Fatih is west of Cyprus and continues drilling at 5,000 metres, while a second drill rig, Yavuz, was as of last week on-site off Karpasia, with drilling expected to begin in a few days.

The Barbaros research vessel continues investigations around Cyprus, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said last week, while the Oruc Reis research vessel would arrive in the Mediterranean after completing its work in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

Turkey announced last week that a fourth vessel the Oruc Reis would be dispatched in the Eastern Mediterranean after the EU announced a series of measures against Ankara over unlawful activities in Cyprus’ EEZ.

On statements this week by Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides that cooperation with Turkey would benefit all sides, Donmez said that the Greek Cypriot side was just trying to buy more time.

 

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