EU has ‘grave concerns’ about Turkish plans to drill in Cyprus EEZ

The EU on Saturday expressed concern over Turkey’s intention to drill for gas in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and called on Ankara to respect the island’s rights and refrain from illegal activity to which the bloc would respond appropriately.

In a written statement issued on Saturday High Representative Federica Mogherini expressed grave concern over Turkey’s announced intention to carry out drilling activities within the island’s EEZ.

“We urgently call on Turkey to show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone and refrain from any such illegal action to which the European Union will respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus,” Mogherini said.

Turkey said it planned to carry out offshore drilling in an area around 60 kilometres west of Paphos while a survey vessel was also on the way.

Ankara issued a new NAVTEX recently, blocking off parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, some of which overlap with the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey plans to send its ”Fatih” vessel (which means ”Conqueror”) to the area to conduct drilling for oil and gas.