Nicosia monitors closely the course of Turkish drill-ship “Yavuz” within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus awaiting further developments.

A government source told CNA that there is nothing to announce at the moment, while the final destination of the drill ship remains unknown. “We monitor the situation, we are aware of what’s happening. At the moment there is nothing to say” the same source said.

According to the website Marinetraffic, “Yavuz” is sailing off Cyprus towards the second drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula since May 4. Before that, “Yavuz” stayed off the coast of Karpasia, in the eastern coast of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.

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