Turkey says EU threats of sanctions over Cyprus 'worthless'

Intends to continue hydrocarbon exploration off island

15 November, 17:16

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, NOVEMBER 15 - Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on Friday said the "EU foreign ministers' plan to sanction our country for drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean for us is null and worthless".

    Oktay's comments came during a speech on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the foundation of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised only by Ankara.

    He said Turkey has completed its mission on the continental platform and its drilling ship Fatih "will continue its work on the Karpas Peninsula" on the island's north.

    Oktay therefore confirmed Turkey's intention to continue hydrocarbon exploration off the coast of Cyprus, in an area that Nicosia, with the support of Brussels, claims is part of its exclusive economic zone.

    Various foreign companies, including Italy's ENI, have received licenses from Cyprus for offshore drilling.

    Last year, Ankara blocked the activity of the drilling ship Saipem 12000, which ENI had rented.(ANSAmed).

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