Cyprus: Exclusive Economic Zone

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has rights to authorise drilling operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Exclusive Economic zone.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government recognises the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Turkish counterpart on the incursion into the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean of drilling ships from Turkey.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Our position remains unchanged: we continue to recognise the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the oil and gas in its internationally agreed Exclusive Economic Zone.

With reference to Turkey's planned drilling, the position of the UK is that, in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, exploratory drilling should not proceed in any area where sovereignty is under dispute. We have called on Turkey not to drill in this area. Sir Alan Duncan had made this clear to the Turkish Ambassador in London and the British Ambassador to Ankara has engaged with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to urge de-escalation. We continue to believe Cyprus' oil and gas should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots.

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