Defence Ministers of Cyprus and Greece discuss Turkish provocations

The Ministers of Defence of Cyprus and Greece, Savvas Angelides and Nikos Panagiotopoulos have discussed about the Turkish provocations in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and territorial waters during their official talks held here today.

In his statements following the meeting, Savvas Angelides said that the flagrant violation of our sovereign rights and the invasion of Turkish drilling ships into Cyprus’ EEZ and territorial waters in violation of international law were at the heart of their discussions.

Cypriot Minister of Defense said that Turkey completely disregards every principle of European and international law adding that despite Turkey’s pursuit to destabilize the region, the Greek Cypriot side will remain calm and in co-ordination with Greece and will not fall into actions leading to tension in the region.

He called on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and to put an end to these provocative actions, which increase tension in the region and do not lead to the desired direction.

He also noted that for the President of the Republic the solution of the Cyprus problem is the first and highest priority in order to deliver a free, reunited, peaceful and prosperous country. It is for this reason, he said, that the President is doing his utmost and is ready to engage in a new round of negotiations.

On his behalf, Greek Minister said that during his meeting with his Cypriot counterpart they discussed various issues such as the solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of a comprehensive, fair, mutually acceptable and viable solution as well as the ever-expanding Turkish provocation and delinquency in both Greek and Cypriot territory.

Turkish delinquency leaves no room for complacency and leads to a top vigilance in order to safeguard our territorial integrity and sovereign rights, he noted. So we are worried but not afraid, we are not complacent but we are vigilant”, he said.

We are monitoring closely and with great concern the unlawful and contrary to international law Turkish actions in the Republic of Cypruss Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters, he said.

We condemn these destabilizing actions by Ankara which on the one hand constitute a flagrant violation of the sovereign rights of an EU Member and on the other hand are testing the credibility of EU at deterrence and its ability to safeguard common interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship Fatih is anchored in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

A second Turkish drill ship, Yavuz, arrived off the island’s northeastern coast last week.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency