US Backs Cyprus Energy Drilling Rights, Won’t Rebuke Turkey

NICOSIA – Without mentioning Turkey, which is unlawfully drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, the United States said that should be the right of the legitimate Greek-Cypriot government.

“The US policy for the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus is long-term and has not changed,” a spokesperson for the State Department was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency as saying.

That came after the news that a consortium of the Italian energy company Eni and France’s Total had discovered a big cache of natural gas in Block 6 of the EEZ, parts of which Turkey disputes and claims.

“We believe that Cyprus’ oil and gas resources, like all its resources, should be shared fairly between the two communities,” the statement added, pushing President Nicos Anastasiades’ government to allocate some of the potentially lucrative revenues with the occupying Turkish-Cypriot side.

They have held the northern third of the divided islands since two unlawful Turkish invasions in 1974 and there’s been nothing but decades of failure by envoys in trying to reunite it.

Anastasiades had earlier offered to give the Turkish-Cypriots 30 percent of any monies that come out of finds although they make up less than 20 percent of the island’s population but they rejected it.


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