12° Nicosia,
15 July, 2024
Home  /  News

Sovereignty under dispute comment draws criticism

Cyprus President criticizes UK Minister for Europe Alan Duncan over Turkey drilling comments

Newsroom / CNA

President Anastasiades has criticized remarks by UK Minister for Europe that cast doubt over Cyprus' sovereign rights.

Duncan "has been and continues to be unacceptable" the President said, adding that his stance does not reflect the right policy which Britain should follow given its interests in Cyprus. Moreover Anastasiades noted the unprecedented support which Britain enjoyed during the current crucial period for her by a small country like Cyprus, which, however, has a voting right in the EU as all other member states.

''It is not the first time that he behaves in such a way'', the President said, referring to Duncan.

''It is not the first time that he behaves in such a way'', the President said, referring to Duncan

Anastasiades said his government would lodge a complaint to British PM Theresa May over Alan Duncan's "unacceptable" remarks.

Responding to a question by MP Bambos Charalambous, Duncan told UK lawmakers that drilling shouldn't proceed in areas "where sovereignty is under dispute."

The Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Foreign Office has sought to clarify its position regarding the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) following the reaction by Nicosia and by UK Cypriots to the Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan’s remark about “sovereignty under dispute”, when asked in the Commons about Turkey’s decision to illegally drill in the area for hydrocarbons.

In reply to a request on behalf of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK by Mike Freer MP for clarification on Sir Alan’s statement, the Foreign Office initially repeated the same statement: “The position of the UK is that, in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, exploratory drilling should not proceed in any area where sovereignty is under dispute.”

Then it repeated the previously stated UK position on the Cypriot EEZ: “We recognise the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the oil and gas in its internationally agreed Exclusive Economic Zone. We believe Cyprus’ oil and gas should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots, as the Foreign Office has said before.”

The statement has been described as not clear enough by members of the organised Cypriot diaspora in the UK. The Cyprus News Agency understands that the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK will ask the Foreign Office for more clarity.


UK  |  Britain  |  Duncan  |  May  |  Anastasiades  |  Europe  |  Turkey  |  Drilling  |  Sovereignty  |  EEZ

News: Latest Articles