The U.S. has backed Cyprus‘ right to drill for gas and oil within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Replying to a question about recent Turkish provocations, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department reiterated that Washington’s policy on Cyprus’ EEZ “is longstanding and has not changed”.
“The United States recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop its resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone,” the spokesman said and added:
“We continue to believe the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement.”
According to Athens Macedonian News Agency, the spokesman warned all sides to refrain from increasing tensions.
“We discourage any actions or rhetoric that increase tensions in the region,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.
Earlier in the week, a close adviser to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warned that Ankara would strike if Cyprus continues with its plans to drill.