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Protest to UN over Turkish flight and shipping violations

Turkish warship

Cyprus has submitted a letter to the United Nations protesting against the continuing infringements of international air traffic regulations and violations of the Republic’s airspace and territorial waters by Turkey.

In the letter, dated 31 October but circulated on Tuesday, the island’s permanent representative to the UN, Kornelios Korneliou, attached two documents detailing the infringements of international air traffic regulations and violations of the airspace by Turkey and the illegal use of closed ports by Turkish warships during September.

Turkish commercial aircraft systematically use the illegal airport of Tymbou (Ercan), Korneliou noted.

Korneliou informed the UNSG that the occupation regime illegally issued three notices to airmen relating to exercises conducted by the Turkish Air Force in September 2017.

“Turkey’s actions are clearly aimed at undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, bolstering the continuing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status by claiming a purported airspace over the occupied territory of the Republic,” he said.

In addition, the letter continues, Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region (FIR) via radio calls.

Nicosia FIR infringements and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus continue unabated, he said.

“Turkey’s policy of persistently breaching international law and defying international rules and regulations puts the safety of international civil aviation at risk, has a negative impact on the stability of the region, and causes difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus,” the letter said.

Korneliou stressed that the continuation of Turkey’s illegal actions creates tension during a critical period for the successful outcome of the ongoing negotiation process for a peaceful comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

“On behalf of my government, I strongly protest against the continuing infringements of international air traffic regulations and the violations of the national airspace and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and appeal for their immediate cessation. The Republic of Cyprus reiterates, in this respect, its call for adherence to the principle of sovereignty and non-interference enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,” Korniliou said.

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