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High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini held a phone conversation today with the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides.
In their discussion, they deplored Turkey’s further drilling activities 45 nm off the southern coast of Cyprus. Turkey’s actions come at a moment when intensified efforts are ongoing for the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General. It remains crucial to ensure a conducive environment for these talks.
The European Union has made its position on the matter clear through repeated Council and European Council Conclusions, most recently on 15 July 2019, and is in full solidarity with Cyprus.
Turkey needs to refrain from such actions and respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources in accordance with international law within its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Furthermore, Turkey should accept the invitation of the government of Cyprus and address the issue of delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zones and continental shelf through dialogue and negotiation in good faith and in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.
The High Representative and the Minister today discussed the possibility of targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities. The High Representative also decided that the issue will be on the agenda of the next Foreign Affairs Council on 14 October in Luxembourg.