24 February 2013 20:09

 NICOSIA --- Cyprus will continue exercising its sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis has stressed, adding that Nicosia will not stop denouncing Turkish threats to all international fora.

The Minister was invited Saturday to comment on statements made by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru, who claimed that "South Cyprus" as he called the Republic of Cyprus, by proceeding with the exploration and exploitation of its natural resources, violates Turkey’s continental shelf and the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

"We will continue exercising our sovereign rights in our EEZ and denouncing Turkey`s threats to all international fora", the Minister underlined, adding that Nicosia acts on the basis of the Law of the Sea and the International Law.

Sylikiotis noted that bearing in mind the Turkish threats against Cyprus` sovereign rights in its EEZ, it is of great importance, that Nicosia has already built strategic alliances through the signing of contracts with companies such as ENI-KOGAS, TOTAL, NOBLE and DELEK, which have now the right to explore and exploit hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ EEZ.

The Minister of Commerce pointed out that the benefits for Cyprus will not only be financial, but also political ones and explained that “exploiting Cyprus’ natural resources in the sea and building strategic alliances, can help upgrade Cyprus’ political role in region and in the EU”.

Sylikiotis stressed that Turkey threatens oil and natural gas companies and is against the creation of the terminal for the liquefaction of natural gas, since that would upgrade Cyprus’ role in the region and turn Cyprus into a regional energy center.

Exploratory drilling conducted by Huston-based Noble Energy in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ has revealed a gross natural gas reserve from 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a 60% probability of geologic success.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey is the only country in the world which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and has launched threats against Cyprus’ sovereign right to explore and exploit its natural resources in the sea.



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