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Party leaders were briefed today by the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias on the actions made by the government following the Turkish threats against Cyprus' sovereign right to exploit its undersea natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

''The political parties were briefed on the various actions made so far and there was a useful exchange of views,'' Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said following an Informal Council of Political Leaders, convened by President Christofias.

''Everybody's concern is to shield through political and diplomatic actions the Republic of Cyprus' sovereign right to explore and exploit its natural wealth, either this is located under the seabed or under the sea,'' he added.

Replying to a question whether the so far initiatives create the conditions for Cyprus to exercise its sovereign rights without hindrance, Stephanou referred to the positive response by various important states and the EU itself concerning of Cyprus' decision to exercise its sovereign right and carry on with explorations in its EEZ.

''I think that this sends a strong message concerning both the protection of this right as well as the attitude of Turkey,'' he said.

He refrained from answering a question as to when drilling activity in block 12 will begin.

Houston-based company ‘Noble Energy’ is expected to begin drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ late September. The company has a concession to explore for hydrocarbons in an offshore field in Cyprus' EEZ, south of Cyprus, known as Block 12.

Recently senior Turkish government officials have warned that Ankara will not hesitate to deploy warships in the Mediterranean.

Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

 

cyprusweekly.com.cy

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