Government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios said on Saturday that any licensing of a block for oil and gas exploration affecting the interests of third parties or the memorandum between Turkey and Libya is contrary to the international law and cannot be accepted.
Commenting on an article in Phileleftheros daily according to which Turkey will proceed with licensing the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) for oil and gas exploration in an area of the maritime zone agreed with Libya, he said “our long-standing position is that there must be cooperation among the states in the region to delimitate their Exclusive Economic Zones and that any action that is undertaken unilaterally and violates the sovereign rights of third states cannot be accepted as it contradicts international law.”
Kousios said the agreement signed between Turkey and Libya is contrary to the provisions of the Law of the Sea and affects the rights of third countries.
He added the EU as well as many other countries have denounced the signing of this Turkey-Libya agreement.
“Therefore, we consider that any licensing of a block within a zone that affects the rights of third parties or is the result of the signing of the MoU will be contrary to international law,” Kousios said.
Asked about the fact that French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is expected to arrive soon to the Eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said: “We consider this action has been undertaken by France to underline its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and the protection of its interests in the region.
“Obviously the arrival of the French aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean bears importance in light of everything that is going on in the region, including the Libyan issue and the violation and questioning of the sovereign rights of countries in the region,” he added.
Turkey has dispatched drillship Yavuz to conduct a drilling operation off the south of the island.
The Cyprus government has condemned Turkey’s latest planned illegal drilling within the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of Cyprus, noting that Turkey, provocatively ignoring the repeated calls by the international community and the European Union, to terminate its illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, is now attempting to carry out a “new illegal drilling in the southern EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, inside exploration block 8, which was duly licensed to the European companies ENI and TOTAL.
“This new attempted drilling constitutes yet another flagrant violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant customary International Law, and completely disregards the international EEZ delimitation agreements already in force between Cyprus and Israel, and Cyprus and Egypt, respectively,” a statement issued by the Presidency of Cyprus has said.