“The latest developments on the Cyprus issue prove that we have a neighbor who likes not to respect stability, cooperation and peace,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.
Tsipras was referring to Turkey’s stance towards Cyprus‘ hydrocarbon exploration in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Ankara has reacted strongly to Cyprus’ efforts to exploit its natural wealth, claiming that the exploration is against the interests of the Turkish Cypriot population.
Drilling in Block 11 of Cyprus’ EEZ by French-Italian joint venture of Total and ENI energy companies started on Wednesday as scheduled, while Turkish warships were conducting a navy exercise with live ammunition in the area.
“I believe that the latest developments in relation to the Cyprus issue do not make us particularly happy, but prove that we have a neighbor who likes not to respect stability, cooperation and peace,” Tsipras told the Athens Macedonia News Agency, adding that Greece remains unwavering and still in favor of dialogue.
“We are always ready to defend our sovereign rights,” Tsipras said, underlining that those who follow the rules of international always succeed at the end.
“We may not have reached a solution (on the Cyprus problem) at the moment, but we will insist that there is no end to dialogue,” the prime minister noted.
“Greece will remain a stable pillar in the region and now it is recovering from the economic crisis. It is a valuable EU partner and a valuable NATO ally because of our good relations with important countries in the wider region,” Tsipras said.