During a trilateral meeting held on Monday, February 11th, in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, the parliament speakers of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus said that offshore drilling operations will go on in spite of Turkey's objection, AP has reported.
The speaker of Egypt's parliament, Ali Abdel-Aal, said the cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece sent a message to any countries that tried to stop them, without specifically mentioning Turkey. But the context for his remarks was clear.
"This meeting sends a great message to all countries that try to prevent eastern Mediterranean countries from using their natural resources in the Mediterranean Sea," Abdel-Aal said.
Host speaker, Demetris Syllouris, was more direct. He accused Turkey of violating international law by using "threats and provocations" to make Cyprus' offshore exploration areas its own, including by dispatching a vessel to perform seismic surveys off Cyprus.
For its part, Turkey insists the exploration violates its rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots to east Mediterranean hydrocarbon reserves.
Cyprus and Egypt already have an agreement for an envisioned pipeline to convey Cypriot gas to processing plants in Egypt.