Egypt, Cyprus, Greece condemns gas exploration by Turkey

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez waves to the drilling ship 'Yavuz' scheduled to search for oil and gas off Cyprus at the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul. (AFP/File)
Updated 08 October 2019

Egypt, Cyprus, Greece condemns gas exploration by Turkey

  • El-Sisi hosted a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart and Greece's PM in Cairo
  • The EuroAfrica Interconnector will stretch nearly 1,000 miles from Greece to Egypt through Cyprus

CAIRO: Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece on Tuesday condemned an “unlawful and unacceptable” bid by Turkey to drill inside waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi hosted a meeting Tuesday with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Cairo.
It’s the most recent summit between the three countries’ leaders aimed at forging an energy-based alliance in the east Mediterranean.
“Turkey’s unacceptable practices and drilling ... are a blatant assault on the rights of the Cypriot Republic and the international law,” Anastasiades told a joint news conference.
He said that Cyprus would resort to “all available diplomatic means to halt Turkey’s aggression.”
El-Sisi said unilateral practices by Turkey risk destabilizing the whole eastern Mediterranean and “damage the interests” of its countries.
Turkey dispatched vessels to drill for hydrocarbons inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, claiming it is protecting its own interests and those of Turkish Cypriots.
It is also at odds with Egypt over boundaries in the east Mediterranean.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the island’s northern third.
The Greek Cypriot-led government has said its offshore drilling operations are an exercise of a sovereign right and that any future gas proceeds would be shared equitably if a deal to reunify the island is reached with the breakaway Turkish Cypriots.
The three leaders also condemned Turkey’s planned military offensive into northeastern Syria, after President Donald Trump said earlier this week the US would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years.
They vowed to step up efforts to tackle illegal migration across the eastern Mediterranean and hone their anti-terrorism tactics.
The Greek leader said that Egypt is a strategic partner for the European Union and that Cyprus and Greece would work to strengthen EU-Egypt relations.
In a previous meeting, the three countries agreed to broaden “strategic cooperation” on energy, including how to transport newly found gas in the region to Europe and linking the electricity grids of Europe and North Africa via an undersea cable.
The 2,000 megawatt cable, known as the EuroAfrica Interconnector, will stretch nearly 1,000 miles from Greece to Egypt through Cyprus.


Qatar tracing app flaw exposed 1 mn users’ data: Amnesty

Updated 10 min 21 sec ago

Qatar tracing app flaw exposed 1 mn users’ data: Amnesty

  • Glitch made users’ ID numbers, location, infection status vulnerable to hackers
  • More than 47,000 of Qatar’s 2.75 million people have tested positive for

DOHA: A security flaw in Qatar’s controversial mandatory coronavirus contact tracing app exposed sensitive information of more than one million users, rights group Amnesty International warned Tuesday.
The glitch, which was fixed on Friday after being flagged by Amnesty a day earlier, made users’ ID numbers, location and infection status vulnerable to hackers.
Privacy concerns over the app, which became mandatory for residents and citizens on pain of prison from Friday, had already prompted a rare backlash and forced officials to offer reassurance and concessions.
Users and experts had criticized the array of permissions required to install the app including access to files on Android devices, as well as allowing the software to make unprompted phone calls.
Despite insisting the unprecedented access was necessary for the system to work, officials said they would address privacy concerns and issued reworked software over the weekend.
“Amnesty International’s Security Lab was able to access sensitive information, including people’s name, health status and the GPS coordinates of a user’s designated confinement location, as the central server did not have security measures in place to protect this data,” the rights group said in a statement.
“While Amnesty International recognizes the efforts and actions taken by the government of Qatar to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures introduced to date, such as access to free health care, all measures must be in line with human rights standards.”
More than 47,000 of Qatar’s 2.75 million people have tested positive for the respiratory disease — 1.7 percent of the population — and 28 people have died.
Like other countries, Qatar has turned to mobiles to trace people’s movements and track who they come into contact with, allowing officials to monitor coronavirus infections and flag possible contagion.
“The Ehteraz app’s user privacy and platform security are of the utmost importance,” Qatar’s health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“A comprehensive update of the app was rolled out on Sunday May 24 with expanded security and privacy features for all users.”
But Etheraz, which means “Precaution,” continues to allow real-time location tracking of users by authorities at any time, Amnesty said.
“It was a huge security weakness and a fundamental flaw in Qatar’s contact tracing app that malicious attackers could have easily exploited,” said Claudio Guarnieri, head of the group’s security lab.
“The Qatari authorities must reverse the decision to make use of the app mandatory,” he said.