Israeli Air Force ramps up patrols in Cyprus EEZ

Tensions are indeed mounting in the Eastern Mediterranean between Cyprus and Turkey over oil and gas exploration. According to a report in Phileleftheros the Israeli Air Force has now ramped up patrols near the exploration zones, with very “intensive activity south of Cyprus.” Meanwhile, Ankara announced that it is going to make even more moves in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Cyprus paper said in an article on Friday that over the “the Israelis dominated the area and monitored all movement near the Cyprus platform” since Thursday.

In other related news, the Piri Reis (currently in Famagusta port) is going to once again be reactivated in the beginning of the week, while a Norwegian research ship which has been leased by Turkey is moving south between Paphos and Limassol.

A report in the famagusta-gazette quoted Turkey’s Energy Minister Yildiz as saying that the exploration conducted by Piri Reis was a reaction to the activities of the Greek Cypriot side and also aimed at putting into effect the continental shelf agreement signed by Turkey and the “TRNC”. Turkey has promised to begin offshore oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean within a fortnight.

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