The “West Capella” drilling rig is expected start drilling today in the seabed of Cypriot waters at block 11. Despite continuous Turkish provocations and constant aggressive rhetoric regarding the oil exploration operations, procedures are moving forward, as both the US and France, who have stakes in the procedures, have made their support clear to Cyprus for the operations.
A diplomatic sources told protothema.gr and mignatiou.com that “Paris and Washington have upheld their promises to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, stressing that the interests of both countries are “currently in line with those of Cyprus”. The same sources said that Turkey is making its presence felt in and around the region with some naval ships, a tactic expected to to continue while drilling is ongoing. An indication of the support Cyprus is receiving is the fact that French Defence Minister Florence Parly is schedule to visit Nicosia today.
The source said her visit showed the support towards Cyprus against the Turkish aggression in the region and threats against Cypriot national sovereignty and rights. French company TOTAL is involved in the exploration, something the French made clear to the Turkish side. Mrs. Parly is scheduled to meet with her Cypriot counterpart Christophros Fokaides and both will inspect the French frigates which sailed from Lebanon, as part of the UNFIL to the port of Larnaka.
Meanwhile, US air carrier “George W. Bush” is also in the area, a sign the Cypriot authorities believe that shows Washington wants no escalation of tensions in the area. The Turkish research and seismographic ship “Barbaros” continued sailing within the Cypriot exclusive economic zone on Sunday close to plots 6 and 7.