Newsroom / CNA
UK's Minister for Europe, Sir Alan Duncan, has reiterated his government’s recognition of the Republic of Cyprus’s sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and support for the resumption of reunification talks.
Sir Alan provided these assurances in a letter addressed to Christos Karaolis, the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK.
The letter has come as a response to previous communications by Karaolis and members of the UK Cypriot community to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Sir Alan, asking for the UK to use its influence so that Turkey terminates its illegal activity in the Cypriot EEZ.
At the Federation’s initiative, nearly 3,000 emails and letters by UK Cypriots were sent to the Foreign Office in the space of a couple weeks.
“The UK has long recognised the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the natural resources in its EEZ, and we want to see exploration go ahead. We have therefore raised recent developments with Turkey,” states the UK Minister for Europe.
“We believe that Cyprus` hydrocarbons should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots, and urge all parties to look for ways by which the development of hydrocarbons can support the search for a settlement,” he added.
“The UK has long recognised the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the natural resources in its EEZ"
On the prospect of a Cyprus issue settlement, Duncan said: “We remain a strong supporter of a Cyprus settlement and continue to think that a political deal to reunite Cyprus is achievable. A reunited Cyprus would unlock significant economic benefits through increased opportunities for trade, investment and tourism".
“The UK will encourage the parties to demonstrate their renewed commitment to the process by working towards a resumption of talks in the coming months, and stands ready to discuss with the parties how we can support progress.”
The Federation President commented: “I`m grateful to the Minister for meeting with a delegation from the Federation in February and listening to our community on the crucial issue of Cyprus` rights in its EEZ. I`d also like to express my thanks to those who sent emails and letters to the FCO and made our community’s voice heard loud and clear."
Turkish naval vessels blocked Italy's ENI rig from entering Cyprus' EEZ in February and abandoned the mission in March after a lengthy stand-off.