The US State Department on Monday called on Turkey to stop all illegal drilling off Cyprus’ north-eastern coast and to remove its drillship ‘Yavuz’ from the island’s territorial waters.
Speaking to Cyprus News Agency, a US State Department official said that “only the Republic of Cyprus, acting through its government, can consent to activities such as drilling within its territorial sea.”
“The US is concerned about the activities of the drillship Yavuz, which is operating within the territorial sea of the Republic of Cyprus,” the official added.
Meanwhile the Cyprus government welcomed the involvement and support of the US government saying it was a vindication for its own position that any actions by Turkey in the region must be based on legality and cooperation.
Cyprus government spokesperson Prodromos Prodromou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the comments by the US State Department backed Cyprus’ position on the issue and expressed hope that Washington’s message will be heeded in Ankara.