Tuesday, August 16, 2011

US backs up Greek Cyprus in gas-drilling row

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Greek Cypriot administration’s plans for natural gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean has received a nod from the U.S. administration.
Already convoluted reunification talks on the island now find another layer of sharply differing views over the planned hydrocarbon drilling project. Until now, both the Turkish and Greek sides made clear their respective opposing arguments over the issue. The foreign minister of Turkish Cyprus, Hüseyin Özgürgün, in a statement released this week called the oil and gas plans “unilateral activities’’ of the Greek Cypriot administration “that are against international laws and will inevitably have a negative impact on the ongoing negotiation process by escalating tension. The so-called Cyprus Republic doesn’t have a right to represent and decide for the Cypriot Turks and the island’s sea privileges by itself,’’ he said.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Grigoris Delavekouras, on the other hand criticized the Turkish stance in a statement provided by the Greek Embassy. The Greek side believes the government of Greek Cyprus is the only legal representative of the state and is exercising its sovereign rights and responsibilities within international and maritime law. Greek Cyprus’ foreign minister, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, is getting ready to initiate an international campaign about Turkish warnings to the European Union and international organizations, as the Cyprus Mail reported.
The U.S. choice not to take a clear stance in the drilling row, despite its deep involvement in the Cyprus reunification talks and the Texas-based Nobel Energy, which holds 100 percent of the unexplored Block 12, an economic zone southeast of the island, puts Americans in the middle of the intense spat.
The Turkish officials, as reported in the Hürriyet Daily News last week, were said to have conveyed their concerns both to U.S. officials and the energy company about the project, although when contacted neither Nobel’s spokesperson nor State Department officials who have knowledge of the issue wanted to comment about what kind of messages or warnings they had received from Turkish officials. Instead, a State Department official who is involved with Turkey-related matters referred to Assistant Secretary Philip Gordon’s press round-table in Cyprus at the beginning of the year. In that, Gordon said the U.S. administration doesn’t see any link between the reunification talks and the exploration plans. On the contrary, Gordon views the U.S. firm’s involvement as ‘’a very positive thing... on the Cyprus issue we know what the significant issues and chapters are, and I don’t think that changes that in a significant way.’’
In a three-point statement I received from the State Department on Wednesday, the U.S. administration states that it is aware of Turkey’s position on the issue, and reiterated its commitment ‘’to support strongly the efforts of both Cypriot parties to reunify the island into a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.’’ However, as a final point, the U.S. administration underscored that it views the plans in terms of ‘’securing energy supplies through better energy diversity’’ and that ‘’is something that the United States strongly supports for all countries.’’
Following the harsh statements coming from the Turkish administration, and at a time when the region’s landscape is rapidly changing and Ankara is growing increasingly confident in asserting its own foreign policy terms, one that appears to be closely aligned with Washington in many instances including in Syria, the gas-drilling project appears to have potential to pose some challenge in the relations between Ankara and Washington, in addition to its already jittery relations with Nicosia.
The U.S. perceives the Greek Cypriot drilling plans, which could reportedly “sustain the energy need in Europe for the next 100 years,” in terms of an alternative energy source for its European allies to help gaining energy independence, despite fierce Turkish objections.

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2011-08-16 14:33:47
  The oil belong to the United States of America. The oil belongs to USA and Cyprus.Turkey..back off.. Turkey is an affiliate to Libya , Iran and don't want the US to get the oil. Turkey play tough ur time will come! gotcha.. what ya on about ya mugz  

Guest - Seagul
2011-08-16 13:24:16
  Considering the on going financial Crisis it is to the benefit of Europe, US and Cypriots and even Turkey to proceed with the drilling at the earliest. Any relating issues can be resolved by the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.  

Guest - babadog
2011-08-15 21:28:49
  How quickly you Greeks forget you have tried to unite Cyprus with Greece and ethnically cleansed the Turks.You are murderes and liars and cheats.You have no right to represent the whole island and you are begging for the Turkish iron fist once again  

Guest - steve1
2011-08-15 07:54:19
  This dispute has dragged on and on and now oil is involved Turkey now is complaining we have dragged our heals for years on the Cyprus issue.  

Guest - anton
2011-08-14 14:19:08
  usa based oil company can not drill in disputed areas period united states can not go to war for one of their oil company with its ally so better wait and see when turkish navy dispatches the warships it happned in past and it will happen again :)  

Guest - Andreas Symeou
2011-08-14 10:26:33
  Did u expect anything else,Israel and the US have interests in Cyprus now,Turkey has no chance of stopping the drilling,well done Christofias,Cyprus for all Cypriots.  

Guest - Yaacov
2011-08-14 07:35:40
  Turkey's FM Davutoglu once more got 'schooled' by the USA. He is the worst, most incompetent FM in Turkey's history, consistently promoting policy that paints Turkey into a corner, alone. What a nincompoop.  

Guest - Christoph
2011-08-14 07:31:53
  It is not only the 'Greek side' which considers ROC as the sole, legitimate government of Cyprus, but the EU and the UN. In point of fact Turkey is the ONLY nation which does not, once again finding itself alone on policy. Seems to be a trend.  

Guest - Thessalonian
2011-08-14 03:43:28
  Turkey has certainly no role to play when it comes to the island's natural resources. The latter belongs to Cypriots exclusively. This excludes all others including Greece, Turkey and all the settlers which Turkey illegitimately introduced.  

Guest - Mindsweeper
2011-08-13 21:47:05
  Turkish foreign policy of two separate states has been thrown into disarray by the prospect of gas in the sea to the south of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey must decide what policy- two states or a united people under one Sovereignty?  

Guest - MrMister
2011-08-13 19:07:47
  There is something deeply ironic about Turkey invoking international law, given also the fact that Republic of Cyprus isn't breaking any laws whatsoever. Good luck committing an act of piracy and becoming a rogue state in order to stop the drilling.  

Guest - PhilD
2011-08-13 18:24:45
  You state: 'The Greek side believes the government of Greek Cyprus is the only legal representative of the state and is exercising its sovereign rights and responsibilities within international and maritime law'; NO, all the WORLD believes it, bar TR  

Guest - Feda
2011-08-13 14:27:35
  And if Turkey were in the same position is any Turk going to tell us he wouldn't drill? Turkey ,as always, lags behind and then tries the big "grab". Better get ready to lose your "navy". How you'd love the oil.  

Guest - European
2011-08-13 11:10:34
  Let Turkey complain as much as it likes. The gas and oil belongs to the Republic of Cyprus. If the Turkish Cypriots want part of it, they can rejoin the Republic under an EU compatiable solution, not something cooked up by Turkey.  

Guest - Bill
2011-08-13 02:56:36
  Its unfortunate for Turkey that the USA for once did not choke because of the threats by an an "ally" who tries to bully everybody around it except for the big one; the big one happens to be on Cyprus side, haha.  

Guest - louis
2011-08-13 00:27:19
  too bad for the turks, that's alot of revenue the state will miss out on  

Guest - Ayhan
2011-08-13 00:22:16
  This shows why it is important to come to an agreement with the oil-rich Turkic Republics (Azerbaijan Turkmenistan and Kazakhistan) for Turkey to become a transit for their gas. This will also increase Turkey and TRNC leverages.  

Guest - John Philip
2011-08-13 00:13:00
  It is not the GCs stopping TCs from playing their full part in the Republic of Cyprus. It is Turkey that is preventing this by insisting that the TCs have their own state on the island. TCs are welcome to rejoin the Republic of Cyprus any time.


konstandinoupolis news said...

The othoman empire is OVER
The Mongol beasts call ATTILA
is now in its sunset. The BIZANTINE
EMPIRE once again will rise through the west(U.S.,EU,ISRAEL)and will erradicate the turkish roaches who think that rule the area now.
Just remember a few hundred years is actually a blink of an eye.
In any case Cypriots have the right to drill and they will.

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