EP Foreign Affairs Committee discusses Turkey’s actions in Cyprus’ EEZ

The European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee discussed on Monday afternoon the issue of Turkeys illegal actions and provocations in the Exclusice Economic Zone of Cyprus, with the participation of the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the EU, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, and Angelina Eichhorst Deputy Director of the European External Action Service, responsible, among others, for Turkey.

Both the Permanent Representative and the EEAS Deputy Director highlighted all the latest statements of support of the European institutions to the Republic of Cyprus sovereign rights, including the conclusions of the European Council, the progress report of Turkeys accession course drawn up by the European Commission and European Parliament resolutions.

Ambassador Emiliou recorded in detail the incidents and provocations in the Cyprus EEZ. He noted in detail the background of the harassment of a drill ship, commissioned by ENI, and outlined the process of agreement on the demarcation of the EEZ with the neighbouring member states, pointing out that Cyprus has no hidden agenda in the region and that Cyprus maintains excellent relations with all neighbo?ring states with the exception of Turkey, but not on its own fault. He noted that Turkey wants control of the eastern Mediterranean, wants to become an energy hub and threatens stability in the region. He also said that Turkeys actions are incompatible with the status of a candidate member state and the negotiating framework.

Emphasizing that the EU28 call on Turkey to abstain from acts, frictions, provocations and threats, the Permanent Representative pointed out that Cyprus has no doubt about its rights, and if Turkey disagrees, they should raise their objections in a peaceful way. He stressed that the Councils message had been transferred toTurkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan in Varna and that Turkey considers, in violation of the international law, that islands are not entitled to have an EEZ.

He said that the Turkish Cypriots would benefit from the natural resources as the revenue allocation would be settled on the basis of future federal government agreements with a federal law and that especially the Turkish Cypriots would receive more to reach 80% of the Greek Cypriot income per capita , stressing that the resources can act as a catalyst for peaceful co-operation.

Emiliou also noted that the government is not pleased with the Commissions report on Turkeys attitude in Crans Montana, explaining that the Commission should describe the lack of a constructive attitude on the part of Turkey in the external aspects of the Cyprus issue, which due to its persistence for the presence of Turkish troops on the island blew up the negotiations .

On her part, EEAS Deputy Director agreed with the Permanent Representative, stressed that the EU repeatedly called on Turkey to comply with the international law and noted that the position of all European institutions on the issue was clear. She stressed that the message was transferred to Erdogan in Varna and noted that the EEAS is constantly discussing these issues with Turkey at the operational level as well. She noted that Turkey as a candidate country must normalize its relations with all member states and promote good neighborly relations. She said that it is a positive signal that the leaders in Cyprus, – President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci – met informally with a view to resuming the talks to resolve of the Cyprus problem, referring to the enormous benefits of a solution.

Cypriot MEPs attending the meeting, Eleni Theocharous, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Neoclis Sylikiotis, Costas Mavrides, and Demetris Papadakis stressed the need for a change of the EU attitude vis-a-vis Turkey.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of talks took place in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana but failed to yield any results. UN talks aim at reuniting Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.

In the recent past, Turkish vessels prevented a drill ship, commissioned by the Italian oil giant ENI, to approach a target for exploratory drilling. Nicosia has protested Turkey’s moves in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Source: Cyprus News Agency