Cyprus says Turkey claims parts of its continental shelf

GMT 01:45 2016 Friday ,13 May

Arab Today, arab today Cyprus says Turkey claims parts of its continental shelf

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Nicosia - XINHUA

Cyprus said on Thursday that Turkey is claiming parts of its continental shelf that have been offered for international tenders for natural gas exploration licensing.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told the state radio that Turkey handed a letter to the United Nations Secretary General claiming that one block which Cyprus included in its exclusive economic zone under the UN Law of the Sea actually falls within its own exclusive economic zone.

It also claimed that parts of other blocks belong to Turkey.

Turkey is among a few countries which have not endorsed the U.N. Law of the Sea and is using different criteria to delimitate its continental shelf.

In late 2014 Turkey sent warships to keep watch on a drill ship of Italian ENI energy company carrying out exploration in another area of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone.

The move prompted Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to suspend negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot community on reunifying Cyprus.

The island was partitioned after Turkey occupied its northern part, in reaction to a coup by the military rulers of Greece at the time.

When Christodoulides was asked whether the claims of Turkey on parts of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone or any military action may have a negative impact on the Cyprus negotiations, he said that exercising the state sovereign rights is not in any way related with the reunification talks.

"The Republic of Cyprus has nothing to worry, its actions are based on international law, on the Convention of the Law of the Sea signed in 1982", the Cypriot spokesman said.

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