US Urges Turkey against Drilling off Cyprus
US officials pressed Turkey on Sunday against going forward with plans to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus, labeled as illegal by the European Union, France24 reports.
"The United States is deeply concerned by Turkey's announced intentions to begin offshore drilling operations in an area claimed by the Republic of Cyprus as its Exclusive Economic Zone," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
"This step is highly provocative and risks raising tensions in the region. We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint."
On Friday, Turkey announced its vessels would be carrying out drilling operations in the Mediterranean until September. According to reports in Cypriot media, the operation will encroach on Cyprus's exclusive economic zone.
- Trump to Discuss Turkey With GOP Senators at White House Next Week Citing two officials familiar with the matter, the report noted that the meeting, which will address "Turkey sanctions," will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
- EU Agrees Sanctions Against Turkey for Drilling off Cyprus The EU last month warned Turkey it could face sanctions if it did not cease what the bloc called "illegal" drilling in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone.
- Trump Aides Pick Sanctions to Punish Turkey for Russian Missiles The administration chose one of three sets of actions
- First Shipment of Russian S-400 Systems Delivered to Turkey "The delivery of parts belonging to the system will continue in the coming days," Turkey's defence industry directorate said separately.
- US Urges Turkey to Stop Oil Drilling Off Cyprus There has been no comment so far from Turkey which sent a drilling ship to the Mediterranean off Cyprus Monday, sparking a protest by the Greek Cypriots.
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