Cyprus Happy for Futile US Support for Energy Drilling

Αssociated Press

FILE-In this Thursday, June 20, 2019 file photo, Turkey's 230-meter (750-foot) drillship 'Yavuz' escorted by a Turkish Navy vessel, crosses the Marmara Sea on its way to the Mediterranean, from the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

It hasn’t helped, but Cyprus’ government nonetheless welcomed continuing US backing for its right to license foreign companies to drill for oil and gas in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - where Turkey has sent ships to do the same.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Cyprus was happy that the US state Department keeps sending out statements of support even though it hasn’t kept Turkey from sending ships into the EEZ, also ignoring soft European Union sanctions.

The US said Turkey’s Yavuz drillship should cease its activities off Cyprus’ northeastern coast and leave the EEZ but was ignored again, as it has been repeatedly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defying the international community and getting away with it so far.

Prodromou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the comments by a US State Department spokesperson backed Cyprus’ position.  The State Department spokesperson had told the CNA that “only the Republic of Cyprus, acting through its government, can consent to activities such as drilling within its territorial sea.”

“The US is concerned about the activities of the drillship Yavuz, which is operating within the territorial sea of the Republic of Cyprus,” the spokesperson added in usual diplomatic language that accomplished nothing.