Cyprus rejects Turkish navtex, offshore drilling expected to announce results soon

Navigational warnings (Navtex) issued by Turkey as it regards to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have no legitimacy and are of no consequence for the island’s gas exploration programme currently underway, Cyprus government said on Thursday.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told reporters that Nicosia will go on with its energy plans and gas exploration activities, adding that this is the best response to the usual Turkish aggression in the eastern Mediterranean region.

“To us, these [Turkish] Navtex, these notices to mariners, do not exist. They have already been cancelled, and no one takes them into account or imparts any legitimacy to them,” said Christodoulides.

The spokesman also referred to the exploratory drilling currently carried out by Total and ENI in offshore ‘Kalypso’ block 6, saying that results are expected in early February.

Asked about the likelihood of the results being announced between the first and second round of the presidential elections, thus potentially benefiting the incumbent government politically amidst the electoral process, Mr Christodoulides said he could not be more specific as to the timeline since this was entirely up to the companies.

On completion of its operations in block 6, the drillship will promptly get on with another exploratory drill in ‘Soupia,’ code name for block 3.

Meanwhile, the Cypriot spokesman also responded to a question regarding the recent vandalism that took place against the Turkish Cypriot newspaper ‘Afrika’.

According to the CNA, Mr Christodoulides said the Cyprus government is monitoring and evaluating developments over this issue on a daily basis and on various levels, while it has conveyed its reaction to the European Commission as well as to the European Council.

With the first draft of Turkey’s progress report being expected in April, Christodoulides pointed out that in the report Nicosia has highlighted Ankara’s responsibilities vis-à-vis Cyprus’ Turkish-occupied areas over the past years.

Pointing to the informal European Summit in February, the Cypriot spokesman reaffirmed the continuation of all these efforts, adding that the President of the Cyprus Republic is expected to raise the issue afresh.


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