Greek Cyprus defies oil exploration warning

The Greek Cypriot administration said it would go ahead with plans to explore oil and gas in eastern Mediterranean after Ankara appealed to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to express its concerns over the bid.

Greek Cyprus defies oil exploration warning
The Greek Cypriot administration said it would go ahead with plans to explore oil and gas in eastern Mediterranean after Ankara appealed to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to express its concerns over the bid.

Turkey's permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Baki İlkin, sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month, diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman last week. Ambassador İlkin drew Secretary-General's attention to the fact that the Greek Cypriot administration claims to be representing the entire island through it's insistence on moving ahead with this tender, despite all warnings by the Turkish Cypriot side as well as from Ankara, officials said.

The present Greek Cypriot licensing round involves major oil companies purchasing seismic data and two-dimensional templates of the Mediterranean seabed. The date for application submissions has been postponed by one month, from July 16 to August 16.

Greek Cypriot Commerce Minister Antonis Michaelides said that Nicosia would not back down. "The Cyprus Government won't give into Turkey's threats because its position is grounded in law and is fully in line with clause 83 of the Law of the Sea," he told the press yesterday.

Greek Cyprus signed accords with Egypt and Lebanon this year, delineating the sea boundaries between them and the limits of its continental shelf. Ankara opposes both agreements since according to international law, the sea boundaries between the countries and the limits of the continental shelf of each country need to be delineated via a consensus among all coastal and neighboring countries when the issue is a semi-closed sea like the East Mediterranean. "Greek Cyprus is trying to create 'fait accompli' in the region," İlkin said in his letter.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2007, 01:05
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