In a phone conversation with Cavusoglu on Monday, Alfano raised the issue of the Eni-owned drill ship which Turkish warships blocked on Friday off the southwest coast of Cyprus and ordered not continue its journey to an area off the southeast coast of the island to explore for natural gas.
Supermajors Eni and Total have made a promising gas discovery offshore Cyprus last week that confirms that the Zohr-like play, where Eni found the biggest gas deposit in the Mediterranean offshore Egypt, extends into the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, the Italian group said. He said both the government and Eni were determined to see the drilling go ahead as planned. Drillship Saipem 12000 was on its way to Block 6 to start its activity under a license provided by Cyprus.
In a news conference in Nicosia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said that Cyprus is taking the necessary steps regarding the matter, adding that the Cypriot authorities' actions reflect the exhortation to avoid anything that could lead to an escalation of the situation without, of course, ignoring Turkey's violation of worldwide law.
During Monday's call, Alfano underlined to Cavusoglu "Italy's hopes of reaching a shared solution under global law and in the interests of Eni and countries in the region, as well as the two Cypriot communities", the Foreign Ministry said.
Greek Cypriots run Cyprus's internationally recognised government, while Turkish Cypriots have a breakaway state in the north - recognised only by Ankara.
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According to the Cyprus Mail, Anastasiades said the government is keeping its calm to avoid any crisis, while it is taking diplomatic steps so that the "Republic of Cyprus' sovereign rights can be respected".
It also said that Turkey's "provocative" behavior wasn't appropriate for a country that has worked to join the European Union membership.
"Turkey needs to commit unequivocally to neighborly relations and avoid any kind of source of friction, threat or action directed against a member state".
This was expressed by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in a message spread through the social network Twitter, while the vice-delegate of the European Commission, Mina Andreeva, pronounced in the same sense. It also claims the area Cyprus has designated for exploratory drilling.