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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, stressed that Turkey`s attempts to put obstacles to Cyprus` exploratory drillings for hydrocarbon reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) constitutes a dangerous adventurism.

    Addressing visiting President of the Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during a state dinner, Papoulias referred to Cyprus` exploratory drilling in its Exclusive Economic Zone, saying that the Republic of Cyprus has exercised - as it should - its undeniable right to delineate its EEZ.

    ``Drilling, which began some weeks ago, is absolutely in compliance with international law and Cyprus` sovereign rights``, he underscored.

    President Papoulias stressed that Turkey attempts to turn Cyprus` sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, into a bilateral dispute.

    ``This attempt of Ankara to put obstacles to Cyprus` drillings is a dangerous adventurism``, he pointed out.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the Greek President said that Greece supports the achievement of a comprehensive solution that would be functional, viable and should be based on the UN Security Council resolutions, in full respect of the EU acquis communautaire.

    He noted that the solution of the Cyprus problem becomes even more imperative after developments in the wider Mediterranean region.

    ``Geopolitical and geo-economic balances have changed and the role of the Republic of Cyprus as a factor of stability and security becomes even more crucial``, he stressed.

    Concluding, he thanked his Ukrainian counterpart for his country`s long-lasting stance as regards the efforts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.

    Drilling has already begun and is being carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy, off Cyprus south-eastern coast.

    The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkeys moves, saying it has a sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will benefit from any benefits that may come from oil drilling.

    Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone. A similar agreement has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

    UN - led Cyprus talks are currently underway between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, aiming to reach a mutually agreed federal solution.

    The illegal regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey. Numerous UN Security Council resolutions have called upon all states not to cooperate with the regime and have described the declaration of the regime as invalid, stressing that the only legal government in Cyprus is the Republic of Cyprus.


    Members of the Cypriot delegation at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) have submitted a written declaration before the Assembly condemning Turkeys bellicose threats against Cyprus and its sovereign right to prospect for oil and natural gas within its EEZ.

    The written declaration, signed by many MPs, members of PACE, said that Cyprus right stems from and is in strict compliance with international law and in particular, the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Turkey has not signed to date.

    The MPs strongly condemned Turkeys bellicose threats against a member state of the Council of Europe and the EU, calling on the Turkish Prime Minister to immediately cease all threats and actions creating a climate of tension in the region, as well as his blackmail for collapse of the on-going talks on the Cyprus problem, should the Republic of Cyprus proceed with its exploration.

    They also welcomed statements by, inter alia, the USA, the Russian Federation, EU member states and the EU Commissioner for Enlargement concerning the inalienable sovereign right of Cyprus to explore eventual oil and natural gas deposits within its EEZ and asked the PACE to openly support this right as well.

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