HALC Letter to Oceaneering Calling On It To Refrain From Violating Cyprus’s EEZ
May 23, 2019
Mr. Roderick A. Larson
Oceaneering International, Inc.
11911 FM 529
Houston, Texas 77041
Dear Mr. Larson,
I am writing concerning recent reports that Oceaneering is considering working with the Turkish government to exploit natural gas resources in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus. As a national advocacy group focusing on issues in the Eastern Mediterranean, we urge you to reconsider.
International law is clear. Only the Republic of Cyprus has the right to exploit natural resources in its exclusive economic zone. For years, Turkey and its puppet regime in the occupied part of Cyprus have ignored that international law. Not only have they sought to exploit the resources of another country, but they have even sent warships to intimidate exploratory ships owned by American companies.
Turkey’s dangerous and illegal behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean has drawn the rebuke of the international community as well as the American government, both of which acknowledge and support the Republic of Cyprus’s sovereign right to resources within its EEZ.
It is for this reason that reports of Oceaneering’s collaboration with the Turkish government to essentially invade Cyprus’s EEZ are so disturbing. We hope that these reports are false, or if they are true, that you reconsider the ill-advised decision to work with Turkey to violate Cyprus’s sovereignty.
For over 40 years, since Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the international community has tried to end the occupation of Cyprus. The UN Security Council has passed dozens of resolutions condemning the occupation and calling on Turkey to respect Cyprus’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The United States has made ending the occupation a cornerstone of its Eastern Mediterranean policy. Simply put, the weight of international law, opinion and action are against Turkey when it comes to Cyprus. For a company then to work with Turkey to flaunt the will of the international community is a poor legal, strategic and business decision.
No company should be an accomplice to what is tantamount to another invasion of Cyprus. Thus, we are supporting all legal recourse to prevent this including the issuing of arrest warrants for individuals who are part of this violation of Cyprus’ EEZ, sanctions at the European Union level, and Congressional action. We will be advocating for such measures in Washington, Brussels, Athens and Nicosia.
We urge you reconsider any efforts to aid Turkey, either formally or informally, in its illegal and belligerent actions in Cyprus’s EEZ.
Hellenic American Leadership Council