South Cyprus intends to register coordinates, relating to its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the sea area offshore North Cyprus, to the United Nations in the near future. It will also try to discuss with Turkey the delineation of its EEZ in that part of the sea, Phileleftheros reported on Sunday.
The south’s government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the government was taking decisions to secure the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.
“The government is taking decisions regarding all issues in an absolutely serious manner, with specific planning and without fanfare, to safeguard the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus,” Christodoulides told the Cyprus News Agency.
Phileleftheros reported that the south’s decision was a reaction to Turkey’s announcement that it would begin exploratory drilling in the sea offshore Cyprus. According to the newspaper’s source, the decision was recently taken but the intention to do so was not new. Turkey, although not a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, has claims on the sea area north of the island. It has argued that it forms part of its continental shelf and has disputed the south’s exploration rights for a number of years.
Turkey says that part of Cyprus’ off-shore bloc 1, as well as the north part of blocs 4, 5, 6 and 7 fall within its continental shelf.
The south has signed an agreement with Egypt and Israel to outline its EEZ. It also signed with Lebanon, but the agreement has not been ratified yet.