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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-15

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Minister of Defence Demetris Eliades, said he hopes the international community will not allow unpleasant developments to take place in the region.

    Eliades was speaking after a meeting with Charge d`Affaires of the US Embassy Andrew James Schofer where the two exchanged views on issues of common interest and Cyprus US defence relations.

    Referring to the developments concerning Cyprus plans to look for hydrocarbons in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Eliades thanked the US diplomat for the clear position undertaken by the US towards Cyprus plans.

    He said the Republic of Cyprus is exercising its sovereign rights in accordance and with full respect towards the Law of the Sea and the relevant UN convention..

    Eliades expressed the hope the international community will not allow any unpleasant developments in the region.

    The Minister and the US Charge d`Affaires exchanged views on the situation as it develops and reconfirmed the positive climate of cooperation, assuring that the two countries relations will continue to strengthen and improve in all sectors.

    Recently, senior Turkish government officials have warned that Ankara will not hesitate to deploy warships in the Mediterranean, if the Republic of Cyprus proceeds with the exploitation of its natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

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

    Meanwhile, Eliades departs Friday to Greece, where he will hold a meeting in Athens with his Greek counterpart Panos Beglitis.

    This is the first visit of the Cypriot Minister after he assumed his duties at the Ministry of Defence last month.

    During their meeting, the two Ministers will discuss issues concerning cooperation in the field of defence, as well as other issues of common interest concerning the two Ministries.


    The Confederal Group of the United European Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) denounces the threats made by the Turkish government against the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the natural gas exploratory drilling due to start at the end of September 2011.

    In a statement, the GUE/NGL notes that dispatching war ships to the Eastern Mediterranean and provoking possible military tensions is ``an unacceptable act which will once again put peace in danger.

    It stresses that the Turkish Government, by alleging that the activities of and agreements signed by the Republic of Cyprus for the exploration of its natural resources within its Exclusive Economic Zone, are contrary to international law, may cause problems to the process of the direct negotiations.

    In its statement, the GUE/NGL recalls that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an integral part of international law, was ratified by the European Union on 10 December 1998 and consequently constitutes a part of the acquis communautaire, which Turkey, as a candidate country, is obliged to accept, adopt and respect.


    The international economy suffers losses amounting to 12 billion US dollars annually due to piracy at sea, an increasing problem especially in the Western Africa coasts.

    President of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber Capt Eugen Adami told CNA that piracy is a problem, which not only affects Cyprus, having one of the biggest registry in the world, but it affects all countries.

    As regards the Cypriot flagged tanker which pirates seized Wednesday in the waters off Benin, neither Adami nor the Cyprus Department on Merchant Shipping were in a position to give more details. They told CNA that they are in contact with authorities in the region to collect more information.

    According to data from the Cyprus Department on Merchant Shipping, ships on the Cyprus register as on 31 December 2010 reached 1862. During the first six months of 2011, the International Maritime Bureau`s Piracy Reporting Center (PRC) reported a total of 266 pirate attacks worldwide, up from 196 incidents during the same period last year. The report showed more than 60 percent of the attacks the majority of which were in the Arabian Sea, were carried out by Somali pirates,. The number of current vessels held by Somali pirates reaches 16 with 301 hostages.

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