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May 19, 2019
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Cyprus seeks US backing in crisis with Turkey

In a phone conversation with US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Friday, Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides called for Washington’s support as Nicosia seeks to safeguard its sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in light of ongoing Turkish violations off its western coast.

Bolton reportedly reaffirmed the stance adopted by the US State Department from the outset of the crisis, stressing the need for an immediate cessation of activities within the island’s EEZ and the avoidance of acts that will escalate tensions.

Christodoulides’ conversation with Bolton was part of a wider diplomatic initiative by the minister in a period of mounting concern on the island over Turkey’s next move.

To this end, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades Friday briefed 10 top justices from as many European Union countries over Turkey’s actions.

Moreover, he sent a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May in which he essentially condemned London’s recent description of the area in Cyprus’ EEZ where Ankara plans to conduct exploratory drilling as one whose sovereignty is disputed.

For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu defended Ankara’s actions on Friday, claiming in a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, EU countries and the foreign ministers of the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members that the area in question off Cyprus lies entirely within Turkey’s continental shelf.

According to the Anadolu news agency, Cavusoglu added that the EU’s recent press statement in support of Nicosia was made for the sake of EU solidarity and is not compatible with international law.

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