Greek Cypriot energy minister said Tuesday there is a plan for eight drilling activities in 24 months in the unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone, according to Greek newspaper Kathimerini.
Speaking at a presentation of his ministry's works between March 2018 - April 2019, Giorgos Lakkotripis said six drills would be for research and two for affirmation without specifying the location of the sites.
He said drilling is slated to begin toward the end of 2019 or early 2020.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara intervened as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.
By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet