Cyprus on Sunday accused the Turkish navy of obstructing a ship contracted by Italian oil firm Eni from approaching an space to probe for pure gasoline, highlighting tensions over offshore assets within the east Mediterranean.

A spokesman for Eni stated on Sunday the Saipem 12000 drill ship had been heading from a location southwest of Cyprus in direction of an space southeast of the island on Friday when it was stopped by Turkish navy ships and advised to not proceed due to navy actions within the vacation spot space.

Turkey, which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Cyprus, claims that sure areas in Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone, referred to as an EEZ, fall into the jurisdiction of Turkey or that of Turkish Cypriots.

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Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades stated Turkey had violated worldwide regulation by blocking the ship and Cyprus would take “obligatory steps”, with out elaborating, though he appeared eager to keep away from exacerbating the scenario.

“From our aspect, our actions replicate the need of avoiding something which might escalate (the scenario), with out after all overlooking the violation of worldwide regulation perpetrated by Turkey,” Anastasiades advised journalists in Nicosia.

A spokesman for the Italian international ministry confirmed that Turkish authorities weren’t permitting the ship to proceed in direction of its vacation spot.

Italy is following the matter “on the highest stage by means of its diplomats in Nicosia and Ankara … and following all potential diplomatic steps to resolve the query,” the spokesman stated.

A spokesperson for Italy’s state-controlled Eni stated the ship, which was touring after reporting a pure gasoline discovery in one other prospect inside Cypriot maritime boundaries on Feb. eight, would stay stationary till the problem was resolved.

“The vessel has prudently executed the orders and can stay in place pending an evolution of the scenario,” the spokesperson stated.

The ship was heading to Block three of Cyprus’s unique financial zone, ENI stated.

Turkey’s ministry of international affairs, in a press release on Sunday didn’t make any point out of obstructing the Eni ship however stated exploration of Block three was a unilateral transfer by Greek Cypriots that violated the sovereign rights of Turkish Cypriots on the ethnically-split island and Greek Cypriots have been jeopardizing safety and stability within the area.

Greek Cypriots, who’re exploring for pure gasoline, run Cyprus’s internationally acknowledged authorities. Turkish Cypriots run a breakaway state acknowledged solely by Ankara in north Cyprus and say assets across the island belong to them too.

Cyprus’s state radio reported senior officers from Eni would maintain talks in Nicosia on Monday.

The island was cut up in a Turkish invasion in 1974 after a short Greek-inspired coup. Peace talks collapsed final 12 months.

Turkey’s ministry of international affairs stated it could proceed to guard Turkey’s personal rights and pursuits on its continental shelf, and people of Turkish Cypriots.

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“We additionally make use of this chance to strongly emphasize our expectation that firms centered in third international locations chorus from supporting … this unconstructive Greek Cypriot perspective which additionally constitutes a significant impediment to the settlement of the Cyprus concern,” it stated.

Source: www.reuters.com

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