Egypt warns Turkey against infringement of economic rights in E. Mediterranean

Cairo on Wednesday warned Ankara against any infringement of its economic rights in the eastern Mediterranean under a maritime border demarcation agreement signed in 2013 with Cyprus that allows exploration for gas in the area, Reuters said. The discovery of the Zohr gas field in 2015 has spurred a race for exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had announced that Ankara was planning to start exploration work soon. Cavusoglu also accused Greek Cypriots of conducting “unilateral hydrocarbon activities.” Turkish Cypriots, “as co-owners of the island, have inalienable rights to the natural resources around it,” he told the Greek Kathimerini newspaper on Sunday. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid warned against “any attempt to infringe or diminish Egypt’s rights in that area,” adding that any such attempt “would be confronted.”