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South secures offshore gas zones

5 July 2013

The South Cyprus parliament has approved amendments to existing legislation on the continental shelf, allowing South Cyprus to designate security zones around installations in its exclusive economic zone.

The House approved regulatory provisions for the declaration on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus of areas as security zones around installations in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The House also approved regulations providing the possibility of delegating powers to any minister, and the power to apply regulations concerning penalties.

The regulations give the Minister of Communications the power, with the agreement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Energy, to issue decrees for the declaration of security zones for a set or indefinite period of time.

The House has been informed that developments in the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of Cyprus make it necessary to create a legislative framework for security zones, which will not be larger than five hundred metres, except in exceptional cases.

The regulations are intended to secure installations as well as marine traffic.

Turkey has continuously complained against South Cyprus’ plans to ‘unilaterally’ develop its possible natural gas and oil reserves, saying both communities on the island must reap the benefits.

Ankara has also staked a claim on some of the South Cypriot offshore blocks lying west and south-west of the island.

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