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17° Nicosia,
21 November, 2019
 
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UK deplores any drilling in the waters close to Cyprus, supports Cyprus' right to extract oils

Pincher also noted that he made it very clear to the President that we think that

Newsroom / CNA

Britain deplores any drilling in the waters close to Cyprus and supports Cyprus’ right to extract oils in its Exclusive Economic Zone, British Minister for Europe Christopher Pincher, said on Friday, adding at the same time that the oil wealth should be extracted for the benefit of all Cypriots on the island of Cyprus.

In a statement after being received at the Presidential Palace by Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, Pincher also noted that he made it very clear to the President that we think that "we have tabled a good, fair and reasonable compromise" and expressed the hope and trust that "our European friends will approach the negotiations in that fair spirit because of course if we are not able to reach an agreement then we will leave the EU without a deal on the 31st of October."

Moreover, he said that "whatever happens on the 31st of October the relationship between Cyprus and the UK is strong, is developing and I look forward to working hard with my friends and colleagues here to deepening and strengthening our relationship."

Pincher noted that he was really pleased to be back here in Cyprus for the fifth time, noting that this is however his first visit as Minister for Europe in the United Kingdom government.

"It’s been a great pleasure and honour to meet the President. We had a really fruitful discussion about issues facing Cyprus," he said, adding that he discussed with him the importance of moving forward to achieve a settlement between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

"I made it very real that Great Britain deplores any drilling in the waters close to Cyprus and supports Cyprus’ right to extract oils in its Exclusive Economic Zone. But most importantly that that oil wealth should be extracted for the benefit of all Cypriots on the island of Cyprus," he said.

As regards Brexit, he noted that he made it very clear to the President that "we think that we have tabled a good, fair and reasonable compromise. Our Prime Minister has said that it presents a broad landing zone for negotiations to leave the EU in an orderly and friendly way on the 31st of October because that’s what we want to do.

"I hope and trust that our European friends will approach the negotiations in that fair spirit because of course if we are not able to reach an agreement then we will leave the EU without a deal on the 31st of October," he noted.

"But whatever happens on the 31st of October the relationship between Cyprus and the UK is strong, is developing and I look forward to working hard with my friends and colleagues here to deepening and strengthening our relationship," he concluded.

Pincher also had a meeting later on with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides. He was also scheduled to meet in the occupied part of Cyprus with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, while he will also visit the British Bases in Episkopi.

A press release issued on Friday morning by the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus said that in flagrant violation of international law, Turkey has chosen to conduct a drilling operation within offshore exploration Block 7, which was licensed by the government of Cyprus to European companies, and lies within the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, already delimited, in accordance with international law, between the relevant opposite coastal States, namely the Republic of Cyprus and the Arab Republic of Egypt, by means of the 2003 EEZ Delimitation Agreement.

The government of Cyprus has strongly condemned Turkey’s new attempt to illegally conduct drilling operations in the south-west of the island, within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf, calling once more on Turkey to immediately cease all its illegal activities and withdraw all its drilling and seismic vessels.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

TAGS
Brexit  |  President  |  Anastasiades  |  Pincher  | 

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