Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides on Friday called on Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to settle their differences at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague.
Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC on the legal recourse sought by Cyprus at the ICJ against Turkey over violations of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) the minister said to file unilaterally and invite Turkey to respond was the only choice they had.
Christodoulides explained that because Turkey has not accepted the mandatory procedure to be followed at the ICJ, the government had to send last month a note verbale to Turkey’s embassy in Athens for an agreement for the two sides to go to court to delimit their sea zones in the north and northwest. After there was no response, the note was sent by fax, he said.
He admitted that without Turkey giving her consent, “the case cannot proceed.” He added however that there had been similar cases in the past when countries filed unilaterally and other states concerned that did not initially accept, later did.
“Exactly the same case like Turkey. States that is, that did not accept the mandatory court procedure but following the unilateral appeal by other states, agreed to enter this process,” he said.
Since Turkey is constantly declaring their actions are based on international law, and since she does not want to enter into a bilateral procedure with the Republic since she does not recognise it, “then come, let’s go to the ICJ to solve our differences,” the minister said.
Diko welcomed the government’s move arguing that it has always believed that international law was Cyprus’ most powerful weapon.
The party’s leader, Nicolas Papadopoulos told CyBC that most probably Turkey would not cooperate but Cyprus ought to take this step, regardless.