House President calls on counterparts to influence Turkey to refrain from illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ

House of Representatives President Demetris Syllouris has asked his counterparts from European and international organisations as well as European Union member states, Russia, the United States and China to exercise their influence on Turkey to refrain from its illegal activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

In the meantime, the plenary of the House of Representatives condemned unanimously today Turkeys actions and called for measures to be taken by the international community and the EU. MPs spoke in favour of unity in the face of Turkish actions.

In a letter, dated May 6 and addressed among others to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, Syllouris expresses his grave concern regarding the ongoing illegal and provocative conduct of Turkey within the EEZ and continental shelf (CS) of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Turkish government, the letter reads, has announced its intention of carrying out illegal hydrocarbon exploration operations” in Cyprus EEZ and CS by the Turkish drill ship Faith and supporting vessels, in blatant violation of international law, particularly UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as, EU law and maritime safety procedures, off the west coastline of the Republic of Cyprus.

Unfortunately, it continues, such obstruction is not the first and is fully in line with Turkey’s gunboat diplomacy, aiming to prevent the Republic of Cyprus from exercising its sovereign rights over its natural resources.

Such violations, it says, only serve to reveal the real negative intentions of Ankara vis-A�-vis the solution of the Cyprus problem. Recent remarks of the UN Security Council underlined the need to avoid actions that damage any chances of success for the resumption of talks.”

Turkey’s conduct merely creates “a climate of intimidation for all involved, not least the companies which operate in full accordance with international law in Cyprus’ EEZ.

It also clearly results in sustaining a climate of general mistrust that further complicates any prospects of a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Syllouris urges his counterparts to exercise your influence towards Turkey, to refrain from its illegal activities, to abide by international law and EU norms and principles, not least its commitments towards the EU as a whole and towards each and every single member thereof.

Turkey must respect the inalienable sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to utilize its EEZ and must finally realise that such actions are not acceptable or, for that matter, compatible with efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem through peaceful negotiations. They are neither compatible with its EU aspirations, the letter notes.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Ankara issued a NAVTEX (navigational telex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. The Turkish drill ship Fatih is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency