The best answer to Turkish provocations is to implement the government plans with regard to the Republic’s energy resources, Defence Minister Photis Photiou has said, pointing out “this is exactly what we are doing.”
Invited to comment on an announcement issued by the Turkish armed forces about the harassment of the Norwegian seismic ship “Princess” by a Turkish frigate, on the east of Cyprus, Photiou said the Foreign Ministry will lodge a complaint over this incident.
In statements after a visit to American guided missile destroyer USS Rampage, docked at Limassol port, the Minister said that provocations are part of Turkey’s strategy, adding that Ankara is trying through threats and provocations to create tension in the region. “We will not follow suit,” he stressed.
“The message that must be sent to everyone is that we do not relinquish our sovereign rights and we will not accept a halt to our plans because of such provocations and threats,” he said.
Photiou said that the presence of the US missile destroyer and other war ships from France and Britain at Limassol port enhances the goal for a security umbrella in energy matters.
He said that Cyprus’ role is constantly upgraded geo-strategically and geopolitically, noting that the first joint search and rescue exercise with the US, Israel and Greece will take place in April.
The Minister was welcomed at the vessel by the US chargé d`affaires in Cyprus and military attaches.
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