Republic of Cyprus has the right to explore and exploit its resources in its EEZ, says US Ambassador to Cyprus

Republic of Cyprus has the right to explore and exploit its resources in its EEZ, says US Ambassador to Cyprus
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, received today, at the Presidential Palace, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Cyprus, Kathleen A. Doherty.

After the meeting, Doherty told reporters: “I wanted to congratulate the President for his re-election and also to convey the White House’s congratulations to the President.

President Trump sent a letter of congratulations recently and we are very happy to see the results.

We had a very good discussion about all the events that are happening, including the issue of the hydrocarbons, and I relayed to the President that the United States feels very strongly that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to explore and exploit its resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and we reiterated that we are engaged in the issues relevant to the Eastern Mediterranean. Secretary Tillerson, when he was in Ankara last week, raised this issue with the Turks.

So, we are watching events and we are also engaging in these events and hopefully the issue will be resolved, so that we can move forward and start the talks again”.

Replying to a question about the expected arrival of ExxonMobil in Cyprus’ EEZ, Doherty said that “we are talking about immediate issues today and we will see what happens”.

Anastasiades issues statement on the issue of the exploitation of natural resources

Earlier, Nicos Anastasiades, had issued a statement on the exploration and exploitation of natural resources of the Republic of Cyprus. The statement reads:

"In light of recent statements and rhetoric by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, I wish to note the following:

In relation to the issue of exploration and exploitation of natural resources of the Republic of Cyprus, the convergence reached during the negotiations between President Christofias and Mr Talat, which provides that decisions with regard to the maritime areas (territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone) as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, will constitute a federal competence in reunited Cyprus, remains valid. This convergence was reconfirmed in the latest round of negotiations, and was never challenged by the Turkish side.

Additionally, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has taken an important step that proves in a tangible way its commitment to the principle that the natural resources of the island belong to the State and all the legal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, and that our goal is to fully explore Cyprus’s hydrocarbon potential, in the best terms possible, so as to maximize the benefits for all the people of Cyprus.

To this end, the Government has submitted for approval to the House of Representatives a bill, which provides for the establishment of a sovereign fund for the management of any future hydrocarbon resources, safeguarding the interests of current and future generations of all Cypriots, based on the Norwegian model, internationally recognized principles and best practices.

Consequently, the statements and rhetoric by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are unjustified and unfounded, and do not serve the best interests of the Cypriot people. In this context, the planning of the Republic of Cyprus in the field of energy will proceed accordingly.

Finally, once more, I wish to publicly call on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community to immediately respond to my call to return to the negotiating table, provided that this is preceded by the termination of the violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone"./IBNA

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