FM to discuss Turkey’s illegal activities in Cypriot EEZ during state visit to Bulgaria

Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides will pay a state visit to Bulgaria during which he will discuss with Bulgarian officials, among others, about the escalating illegal activities of Turkey in the Cypriot EEZ.

According to a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry Christodoulides will have on Friday a tete-a-tete meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva, to be followed by consultations in the presence of officials from the Foreign Ministries of the two countries. The two ministers will then make statements to the media.

Deliberations will focus among others on bilateral relations and the prospects for further enhancing them in various fields, current issues on the EU agenda, including matters related to Energy and energy security, the escalating illegal activities of Turkey in the Republic of Cyprus maritime zones and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the latest development in the Cyprus problem as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

During his presence in Sofia, the Foreign Minister will be received, during separate meetings by the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the Speaker of the Parliament, Tsveta Karayancheva.

Turkey has dispatched drillship Yavuz to conduct a drilling operation off the south of the island of Cyprus, that has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks for a Cyprus settlement have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

The Cyprus government has condemned Turkey’s newly planned illegal drilling within the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, noting that Turkey, provocatively ignoring the repeated calls by the international community and the European Union, to terminate its illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, is now attempting to carry out a “new illegal drilling in the southern EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, inside exploration block 8, which was duly licensed to the European companies ENI and TOTAL”.

“This new attempted drilling constitutes yet another flagrant violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant customary International Law, and completely disregards the international EEZ delimitation agreements already in force between Cyprus and Israel, and Cyprus and Egypt, respectively,” a statement issued by the Presidency of Cyprus has said.

Source: Cyprus News Agency