The United States, and the international community in general, recognize the Republic of Cyprus’s right to exploit the resources in its exclusive economic zone. Despite the fact that this right is well established in the international maritime law, Turkey objects to Cypriot drillings for oil and gas claiming that they should be shared with the Turkish-occupied north, recognized only by Turkey. Ankara has threatened to intervene if any “unilateral action” is taken by the Greek Cypriots. Currently, Greece, the European Union, the United States and the entire international community fully supports Cyprus in its right to drill for natural gas within its exclusive economic zone. The current situation in the area is particularly dangerous. Cyprus has already commissioned a French-Italian consortium to explore the waters of its exclusive economic zone and pre-drilling activities have already started. The Turkish government is trying to prevent Cyprus from carrying out research and possible exploitation of hydrocarbons by sending out its own survey vessel followed by a frigate. On the other hand, France, supporting its major energy company licensed to drill, responded by also sending two frigates in the area. According to the news, the US aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is sailing near the drilling area conveying to Turkey the message that the Unites States support the legal efforts of Cyprus to search for oil and gas. The Arms Control Center is very concerned about the current situation as Turkey’s aggression is a constant threat in the area. What is at stake here is Cyprus’s right as a sovereign nation to exercise its legal right to explore the natural resources of its exclusive economic zone, which is well established by the Territorial Sea Law. If the world allows such a blatant violation of the Territorial Sea Law unanswered then there will be created an international precedent in the exclusive economic zones of all nations around the world. The United States, Russia and the United Nations should condemn this Turkish belligerent attitude and warn Ankara that if it crosses the line there will be consequences.

Comments are closed.