Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides has asked for practical help from the US to ensure that Turkey terminates its illegal energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Nicosia requesting decisive action came during Thursday’s meeting Christodoulides and US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Francis Fannon.
The US official departed for Turkey where he will hold contacts with officials.
According to a CNA source, Christodoulides and Fannon discussed Turkey’s illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and how they affect US interests.
The source told CNA, that Christodoulides asked Fannon, for the US to make a “substantive contribution” to end Turkey’s activities affecting Cyprus and the broader region causing tension and instability.
During his visit, Fannon said that energy resources are a catalyst for broader cooperation and that the United States remain committed at the highest level.
He stated the US position of “we support the Republic of Cyprus to develop its resources in its EEZ” the revenues of which could be used for both communities, in the context of an overall settlement.
Fannon presided over the 3+1 energy cooperation mechanism in Nicosia.
It was inaugurated during a Summit in Jerusalem last year, between the leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel, in the presence of State Secretary Mike Pompeo.
During a meeting in Athens, last August, Energy Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel and the US Assistant Secretary of State identified several key areas of common interest and agreed to set up four specialized technical working groups.
Turkey has dispatched drillship Yavuz to conduct a drilling operation off the south of Cyprus inside exploration block 8, which is licensed to the European oil and has majors Eni and Total.
The Cyprus government has condemned Turkey’s newly planned illegal drilling within its Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf as “piracy”. (source CNA)