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Turkey warns against Cyprus oil deals January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Oil Crisis.

Turkey warned Lebanon and Egypt against an crude oil and natural gas exploration deal signed with Cyprus, saying Turkey and Turkish Cypriots also had rights in the region.

Lebanon and Cyprus signed an agreement for the delineation of an undersea border on Jan. 17 to facilitate oil and gas exploration between the two east Mediterranean countries. A similar agreement was signed between Cyprus and Egypt last year.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Turkey had “legitimate and legal rights and interests” in the eastern Mediterranean and said Turkey did not recognize the agreements. The ministry also said Turkey was determined to “protect its rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean and will not allow attempts to erode them.”

Turkey has asked Lebanon and Egypt not to put the agreements into force, the ministry statement said.

“We remind them to also take into consideration the will of the Turkish Cypriots and not to take any initiatives that may negatively affect the process of resolution of the Cyprus issue,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The 120 mile-wide seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant crude oil and natural gas deposits. The exclusive zone agreement is designed to mark the underwater areas where each country can carry out exploration and production work once oil or gas is discovered.

The Norwegian energy consulting firm PGS recently began a 3-D seismic survey to determine the potential volume of commercially producible hydrocarbon reserves off the Lebanese coast.

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