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French aircraft carrier sails past Turkish vessel in block 8

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In a show of strength French aircraft carrier, ‘Charles de Gaulle’ sailed through block 8 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) close to where the Turkish drillship Yavuz is illegally operating.

The Cyprus News Agency said the French aircraft carrier, escorted by six accompanying vessels, continued its course due west of EEZ block 8, off the island’s southern coast.

On January 18, Turkey sent the drillship Yavuz to explore block 8, which is licensed to Italy’s ENI and France’s Total consortium for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities.

Brussels has condemned Turkey’s continued illegal drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean and expressed solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law.

The EU has said delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.

On February 4, RELEX, the European Council’s Working Party of Foreign Relations Counsellors, added two Turkish nationals to its sanctions list due to Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ. (source CNA)