Cyprus Mail

‘Blatant new attack on Cyprus EEZ’ (updated)

The Turkish drillship Fatih

Turkey’s illegal activities in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) constitute an unprecedented violation of Cyprus’ sovereign rights, revealing the true intentions of Turkey in relation to the Cyprus problem and undermining security in the region, Defence Minister Savvas Angelides said on Sunday.

He reiterated that the National Council on Saturday said that without an end to illegal activities in the EEZ there can be no prospects for resolving the Cyprus problem.

“The government continues to take action on various fronts in order to end Turkey’s flagrant violation of Cyprus’ EEZ. We definitely do not stop here, we continue with various actions on different fronts so that we have a substantial result, which is the end of this illegality,” he continued.

Speaking in Greece, Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Terence Quick said Turkey’s provocative actions in Cyprus’ EEZ constitute a blatant new challenge to the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and demonstrate Turkey’s negative attitude to all members of the international community.

Speaking at the Congress of Cypriot Organisations in Greece, he said “Athens and Nicosia will use all the means available to ensure our rights against anyone who acts in violation of International Law”

The Turkish drillship Fatih is in the northern part of Cyprus’ EEZ accompanied by three other vessels.

Although the Turkish drillship is operating in the Cypriot EEZ, it is located in an area that has not been licensed by Cyprus for hydrocarbons exploration.

The government has received the backing of the EU, the US and others over the incident.

On Sunday a high ranking Turkish diplomat has said Turkey has sent a message to Greece, Cyprus and the EU that it will not back off from its claims in the Eastern Mediterranean, Sky Greece reported on Sunday.

In a Tweet, the general secretary of the Turkish foreign ministry reportedly said it was not possible for Greek island to have full control over setting who has rights to the sea.

He described the approach of Athens and Nicosia as “maximalist”, claiming that ownership of islands does not confer full rights on the demarcation of marine areas.

Earlier spokesman of Turkish ruling party AKP called on President Nicos Anastasiades to remember the events of 1974 and to keep them in his mind.

He said marine boundaries are set after agreements or court decisions, suggesting that Greece and Cyprus are violating the “possible boundaries” of Turkish zones.

“In the absence of settlement, the overlapping claims prevail,” he added justifying Ankara’s behaviour in the Mediterranean and the Aegean.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides travels to Brussels on Sunday afternoon to attend the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council where he will brief his counterparts on Turkey’s provocations in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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