Turkey is turning into a pirate state in the Eastern Mediterranean, Nicosia says, condemning Ankara’s illegal drilling

The Government of Cyprus condemns Turkey’s newly planned illegal drilling within the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

In a statement issued Sunday, regarding the illegal activities of Turkey within Cyprus’ EEZ, the Presidency of the Republic points out 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,” the statement says.

Turkey, it adds, “is turning into a pirate state in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

Contrary of the emerging energy synergies in the region, “amply demonstrated by the creation of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo as recently as three days ago, as well as the signing two weeks ago of the EastMed Pipeline Agreement in Athens, Turkey insists on going down the path of international illegality which has chosen for itself,” it says.

The statement reads that “with cynicism and hypocrisy, Turkey conducts its blatantly illegal activity in Cyprus’s EEZ/continental shelf purporting supposedly to act with the aim of protecting the rights of Turkish Cypriots, whilst at the same time claiming for herself 44% of Cyprus’ EEZ, to the detriment of the lawful rights of all Cypriots”.

“Any assertions that the planned drilling is being conducted for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots are groundless and any purported licensing by the so-called TRNC is illegal, null and void, as per the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and International Law. It is reiterated that the interests of the Turkish Cypriots are fully safeguarded through the pursued comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, as attested by the relevant convergences achieved at the negotiating table and also by the proposals made by the President of the Republic,” the statement concludes.

Source: Cyprus News Agency