FM Permanent Secretary briefs EU Ambassadors on Turkish illegal actions in Cyprus’ EEZ

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tasos Tzionis, made on Friday a presentation to Ambassadors of EU member states accredited to Cyprus regarding recent developments in the continental shelf/EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus.

Using maps in his powerpoint presentation, Tzionis briefed the Ambassadors about the illegal drilling operations of Turkey in Cyprus’ continental shelf/EEZ which, as he noted, do not aim to benefit the Turkish Cypriot community.

Tzionis said, among others, in his presentation, which has been uploaded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, that the drilling area lies within a maritime area claimed, with no plausible basis, by Turkey as part of its own continental shelf.

This is contrary to the very interests of the Turkish Cypriots who, together with the Greek Cypriots, would be deprived of the fair share of the benefits over the resources of the western maritime area of Cyprus, Tzionis added.

He further noted that Cyprus has repeatedly called upon Turkey to enter into negotiations for the delimitation of their maritime zones, in accordance with the international law, adding that this invitation to Turley was, in fact, repeated in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General on 12th December 2018.

Turkey, he continued, dismissed any efforts for a peaceful negotiation and has resorted to actions that jeopardize and hamper the reaching of a final agreement.

He also noted that Cyprus has declared that the outer limit of its continental shelf/EEZ is the median line with Turkey. Turley’s claims, however, extend far over the median line. This demonstrates how Turkey exercises what it regards as its ‘rights’ in an abusive manner contrary to international law, it concludes.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Ankara has issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. The Turkish drill ship Fatih has been located west of the Akamas peninsula, in an area which falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency