statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the illegal actions of Turkey within Cyprus`  Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) constitutes a powerful message, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday evening, noting that it is the outcome the coordinated efforts of Cyprus and Greece.

In statements together with his Greek counterpart Nicos Dendias, during his visit in Athens yesterday, Pompeo stressed that “we cannot let Turkey to proceed with illegal drillings”.

President Anastasiades was replying to journalists` questions yesterday evening on the sidelines of the Cyprus – Russia Gala, at the Presidential Palace, on the reactions of Paris and Rome against Turkey`s move to send its drillship “Yavuz” in Cyprus` EEZ again, a presidency press release says.

He said that after the announcement by head of EU`s diplomacy Federica Mogherini and his telephone communication with European Council President Donald Tusk, the Council of Foreign Affairs will review the situation while the European Council, on the agenda of which the matter has been included, will be briefed by himself and certain decisions will be made.

Replying to a journalist`s comment that Pompeo said that the United States will not allow Turkey to proceed with an illegal drilling in Cyprus` EEZ, he noted that “this is a powerful message,” adding that “it is also the result of the coordinated efforts of Cyprus and Greece, in this particular case, certainly, of Greece.”

Asked whether he has any information as to the intention of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convene a meeting between himself, President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, or whether he has received an invitation he said “not directly. There have been a number of ideas floated. Certainly, it would be around November in a European capital.”

According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship “Yavuz”, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7, has been licensed by the Government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.

“Yavuz”, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” has been 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.

Cyprus has called on drill ship “Yavuz” and her supporting vessels  to immediately cease illegal actions in the Republic’ Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf.

A navigational telex (navtex),  published on  the  website of the Zenon Coordination Centre of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels will face consequences and an international arrest warrant will be issued against them.

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.

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