Turkey says will increase Cyprus activities after EU measures

AFP
July 17, 2019

ANKARA: Turkey will 'increase' its activities off Cyprus after the EU approved measures to punish Ankara for drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish foreign minister said on...

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ANKARA: Turkey will "increase" its activities off Cyprus after the EU approved measures to punish Ankara for drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday.

EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed measures including cutting 145.8 million euros ($164 million) in pre-accession financial funds to Turkey allocated for 2020. The move came after Ankara repeatedly ignored warnings by the European Union and the United States to cease its drilling activities off Cyprus.

"If you take these kinds of decisions, we will increase our activities," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a televised press conference in the North Macedonian capital of Skopje. Turkey has already sent three ships to drill for oil and gas off Cyprus, Cavusoglu said, adding: "God willing, we will send a fourth ship soon to the eastern Mediterranean."

Earlier on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said in a statement that the bloc´s move would "in no way affect Turkey´s determination to continue its hydrocarbon activities". The ministry accused the EU of being "prejudiced and biased" over the lack of reference to Turkish Cypriots, "who have equal rights" over Cyprus´ natural resources.


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