Cyprus’ best answer to Turkish provocations is to continue with energy plans, says Energy Minister

The best answer that the Republic of Cyprus can provide to Turkey’s provocations, is to continue and complete its energy plans, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Sunday.

Asked about the Republic of Cyprus’ energy plans, bearing in mind the Turkish provocations in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Lakkotrypis said that the drilling schedule continues as planned and hoped for a positive result.

Speaking in Larnaca after a memorial service for those who died during the Turkish invasion, the minister said that four years ago, the Republic formed a strategy to build and enhance its relations with neighbouring states and the US, the EU and others.

He added that Cyprus is expanding its with Israel, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan at a bilateral or trilateral level, “with Greece always at our side”.

On the importance of the presence of French warships in the area where the offshore drilling is taking place, Lakkotrypis said: “The best reply we can give to Turkey’s provocation is to continue and complete the energy planning including this drilling which will be decisive for the future”.

On June 26, the Republic of Cyprus issued a directive to seafarers (NAVTEX 240/17), saying that drilling operation will be conducted in an area bounded by the drilling ship “West Capella”, from  July 10 until October 15.

The rights on Block 11 were assigned by the Republic of Cyprus to Total back in 2013 at the conclusion of the second international bid round. Total decided to extend the lease of Block 11, re-evaluating its geophysical model in view of the discovery of Egypt’s giant Zohr field only about 6km away from the boundary of Block 11.

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