EUMed7 heads of state rallying behind Cyprus to condemn Turkish actions in the island’s EEZ is out of touch with the real world and international law, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Saturday.
“We condemn the discriminatory, unrealistic and contrary to international law statements concerning the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus in the joint communiqué of the [EUMed7 countries],” the Turkish foreign ministry said.
These statements reflect the national stance of the Greek Cypriot-Greek duo, and are inconsistent with the UN principles for a solution to the Cyprus problem, it added.
The countries that signed this joint communique should recognise that the reason why the Cyprus problem has yet to be solved is the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side to share power and to acknowledge that Turkish Cypriots have equal rights, the ministry said.
Earlier in the day President Nicos Anastasiades thanked the leaders of the southern EU member states for supporting the inalienable sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and for unanimously condemning Turkish violations.
“I thank the leaders of the Summit #EUMed7Malta for their support to the inalienable right of the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its sovereign rights within its EEZ and for unanimously condemning the violation of international law, the law of the sea on the part of Turkey,” Anastasiades said in a message posted on Twitter on Saturday following Friday’s 6th Summit of the Southern European Union Countries in Valletta.
He also noted Cyprus-related references contained in the Valletta Declaration, which was adopted by the leaders at the MED7 Summit.
Speaking to reporters in Valetta, Anastasiades said: “It is about the violations of international law and the Treaty of the Law of the Sea by the invasion, actually, of Turkey in our own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in an effort to drill within the area”.
So, he added, “this is a threat against peace and this is what we are trying to avoid.
“We don’t want a crisis,” he stressed, adding that “the international law is there, it is quite clear so nobody could violate by using force, violate the sovereign rights of another country.”
This, he noted, “is what I actually said and I am quite pleased and happy because Cyprus has received such a strong solidarity by our partners but a strong message to Turkey as well.”
Replying to a question as to what his desire is for the future, he said: “to live in peace, to find a solution in Cyprus and to normalise the relations with Turkey.”
Turkey, once again is violating the rules of the EU, he recalled, pointing out that “they are not recognising Cyprus and it is a candidate member state so it doesn’t comply with the requirements the EU is asking for.”
Last month Turkey issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Fatih, accompanied by three service ships, 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.