The United States recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, the State Department has reiterated.
A State Department spokesperson had been asked by Greek ERT television channel and Hellas Journal website to comment Ankara’s position on the matter.
Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry had also reacted on Friday to Turkish statements that the licensing of block 5 of the Republic’s EEZ violates Turkey’s so called “continental shelf and ignores the rights of Turkish Cypriots”, pointing out, among other things, that “the exploration and/or exploitation of Block 5 is an exclusive sovereign right of Cyprus and does not affect the rights of any third state, including Turkey.”
The State Department spokesperson said that “the United States is closely monitoring developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. We call on the parties to take steps to help reduce tensions.”
“The US policy for the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus is long-term and has not changed. The United States recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone,” he noted.
This, he added, “is consistent with the US position on all states.”
“In areas of overlapping maritime claims, we urge the parties to resolve their maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law,”
he pointed out.
“We continue to believe that Cyprus’s oil and gas resources, like all its resources, should be shared equally between the two communities,” he concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third.