Ankara is laying claims to parts of various blocks in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, saying the areas in question form part of its continental shelf.The claim includes part of blocks 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7, to the south and southwest of the island.
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Asked about Exxon Mobil’s plans, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou offered a generic response: “Cyprus’ energy plans are a given and there is no need for further commentary.
The [gas exploration] concessions are there, and the interested companies are making their own plans, according to their own timetable.” Through diplomacy, he added, Cyprus is seeking to ensure that its energy plans proceed as planned.
“Our top priority is the safety of the crews that will conduct the research and of the others in the area,” she said.
Block 10, the acreage licensed to Exxon Mobil, is not contested by Turkey.
On Tuesday, Russian news agency Sputnik said the presence in the eastern Med of surveyor ships contracted by Exxon Mobil coincides with the arrival of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) which entered the US 6th Fleet area of operations on February 21.