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Turkish Foreign Ministry denies hydrocarbon exploration deal with South

11 May 2017

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has denied a report in the Greek Cypriot press that there was a secret meeting in Davos in 2015 where an agreement was forged between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkey’s then Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

A report published in the ‘Sunday Mail’, wrote that at that meeting, Turkey agreed to give [South] Cyprus scope to continue its hydrocarbon exploration, on the road to co-operation after a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Huseyin Muftoglu, said the report “contained groundless allegations which could be taken to imply that Turkey might have relinquished some of its rights and interests. The faulty assessments in the Turkish media based on these allegations are an exercise in futility.”

The US was in full support of the understanding between the two countries. At that time, the Cyprus negotiations between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Anastasiades, that began in 2015, were progressing well, and the then vice-president Joe Biden rewarded Anastasiades.

At a meeting in Davos in 2016 Biden informed Anastasiades that because of the US administration’s intervention, Turkey had lifted her objections to the licensing of bloc 6.

The expression of interest, submitted by Exxon-Mobil, in the third licensing round was part of Biden’s initiative.

Turkey considers bloc 6 to be part of its continental shelf and has said it would not allow foreign companies to carry out exploration activities in that area.

In a letter to the UN dated April 12, it said it “is committed to protecting its sovereign rights emanating from international law and will not allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorised hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities on its continental shelf, as it was strongly underlined in several statements on the issue by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, most recently on 6 April 2017.

Cyprus Mail

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