QA:12 - 29 May 2009, Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question

Question: Several news items, claiming that a US company would launch an oil/gas exploration in the southwest of Cyprus Island, have been published in the Greek Cypriot press with reference to the US sources. We would appreciate your views about the subject matter.

Answer:  Actually, we have shared our views with the international community about the offshore oil/gas exploration activities of the Greek Cypriot Administration on various occasions.

First of all, these activities contradict with the ongoing comprehensive settlement negotiations between the two sides in the Island.

Such activities, which have no legal basis and have the potential to create tensions, compromise the Turkish Cypriots’ inherent equal rights and interests over the natural resources of the Island.

As is known, Turkey’s legitimate and legal rights in the maritime areas to the west of longitude 32º16'18"E have been registered to the UN. It is only natural that Turkey will protect her rights.

In this context, it is our expectation that all would act with common sense and avoid the activities which could cause tension while the comprehensive settlement negotiations in the Island continue.