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US State Dept: Cyprus has right to exploit its EEZ resources

The US State Department this week weighed in on the ongoing spike in tensions in the eastern Mediterranean waters, reminding that Washington recognizes the Republic of Cyprus’ right to exploit the resources in its exclusive economic zone.

The statement comes in the face of a latest round of threats and attempted corporate blackmail by Ankara to block the exploration.

A consortium led by French multinational Total, in cooperation with the internationally recognized Cyprus government, is set to begin exploratory hydrocarbon drilling in block 11 of the island republic’s EEZ in the coming days.

“… the US policy on Cyprus’s EEZ is longstanding – We recognize the Republic of Cyprus’s right to develop its resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone …,” a State Department spokesman said. He merely added that Washington believes that the island’s oil and gas resources should be “equitably” shared between Greek and Turkish Cypriot within the framework of an overall settlement of the Cyprus issue.  

“We continue to discourage actions that increase tensions in the region,” he emphasized.