The position expressed by the US State Department with regard to the activities of Turkish drillship Yavuz in the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial waters is supportive to South Cyprus, Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou told the Cyprus News Agency and expressed hope that the messages sent out to Ankara will change the Turkish government’s stance.

The spokesman also said that the US call for all actions to be based on legality and on cooperation is identical with the position of the Republic of Cyprus,  which invited Turkey in the past to hold consultations in order to determine the EEZ between the two countries, as well as with the general position for a Cyprus settlement that would truly facilitate consultations and cooperation in the field of natural gas.

Invited to comment on statements by a US State Department spokesperson to CNA about Yavuz’s activities, the spokesman said that “the State Department’s position that only the government of the Republic of Cyprus has the power to decide about the drilling activities and its call on Turkey to remove Yavuz from Cyprus’ territorial waters are supportive to Cyprus.”

Prodromou noted that the importance of the position expressed by the US is self-evident, stressing that once again it is clear that the international community deplores and is against the actions of Turkey. Furthermore, he expressed hope that the messages sent out to Ankara will make the Turkish government face things with a different perspective and “allow, first of all, through substantive negotiations on the Cyprus problem, to establish relations governed by legality and cooperate.”

The US State Department spokesman told CNA, responding to a question, that the United States considers the activities of Turkish drillship Yavuz off the north-eastern coast of Cyprus as unlawful, and urges the Turkish authorities to cease them immediately and remove the drillship from the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial sea.

Moreover, he noted, inter alia, that “only the Republic of Cyprus, acting through its government, can consent to activities such as drilling within its territorial sea.”

“The United States is concerned about the activities of the drillship Yavuz, which is operating within the territorial sea of the Republic of Cyprus. This provocative step raises tensions in the region,” he added.

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