U.S. Ambassador Visits ExxonMobil Cyprus Drilling Ship

US Ambassador Kathleen Ann Doherty. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Public domain)

Ignoring Turkish warnings that foreign energy companies shouldn’t drill for oil and gas off Cyprus, U.S. Ambassador Kathleen Doherty went a drilling ship off the coast being operated by American giant ExxonMobil.

Showing support for Cyprus’ right to look for energy in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) parts of which Turkey doesn’t recognize, she flew to the area along with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis and the company’s Vice-President Tristan Asprey, said Kathimerini.

That came as Elizabeth Neumann, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy, finishing a four-day visit to Athens, said her talks would provide an “important basis” for next month’s US-Greece Strategic Dialogue.

Neumann’s visit came “in the context of our ongoing law enforcement and counter-terrorism cooperation as well as our preparations for the inaugural U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue next month,” the U.S. Embassy in Athens said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent warships off Cyprus in a bid to keep foreign energy companies away after earlier this year succeeding in driving off a research vessel from the Italian company Eni, reportedly under threat of being sunk.