Egypt Says Turkish Seismic Survey Plans Could Encroach on Its Waters

Egypt, a close ally of Greece and Cyprus, denounces first step of oil and gas exploration as an 'attack on sovereign rights'

Reuters
Reuters
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An offshore drilling rig is seen in the waters off Cyprus' coastal city of Limassol, July 5, 2020.
An offshore drilling rig is seen in the waters off Cyprus' coastal city of Limassol, July 5, 2020.Credit: AP Photo/Petros Karadjias
Reuters
Reuters

Egypt said on Saturday that part of a seismic survey planned by Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean potentially encroached on waters where Cairo claims exclusive rights.

An advisory issued last month by Turkey for the survey overlaps with Egypt's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), constituting "a violation and an attack on Egypt's sovereign rights", the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It did not give details, but said the potential encroachment came under point eight of Turkey's advisory.

Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbons exploration.

The announcement of the survey escalated tensions between Turkey on one side and Greece and Cyprus on the other, amid conflicting claims to offshore hydrocarbon resources.

Turkey has since indicated it could pause exploration operations pending talks.

Egypt is a regional rival of Turkey and has close relations with Greece and Cyprus.

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