Cyprus Mail

Cyprus protests to UNSG over Turkey’s actions in EEZ

In two letters sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Cyprus’ permanent representative to the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis condemned Turkey’s unlawful claims over maritime areas where it could not have any rights under international law and has protested the new illegal drilling operations in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Mavroyiannis stressed Cyprus “rejects the newly attempted submission by Turkey of geographical coordinates concerning the outer limits of its alleged continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, as well as the presentation of a chart which clearly encroaches upon the maritime zones of Cyprus, as well as of other coastal States in the region.

“Turkey’s unlawful claims extend to maritime areas where it could not have any rights whatsoever under international law and purport to “delimit” maritime boundaries with continental States with which it has no opposite or adjacent coasts and whose maritime areas do not, and could not, osculate,” he added.

He referred to an MoU between Turkey and the government of national accord state of Libya on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas in the Mediterranean.

The result, Mavroyiannis said, “is an unlawful instrument that fabricates a non-existent maritime boundary between Turkey and Libya at the expense of the rights and interests of third states”.

He added that the Republic of Cyprus is “the sole subject of international law on the island, has sovereignty over the whole island of Cyprus and all the rights stemming therefrom.”

He also raised the issue of Turkish drilling in the EEZ, which started at the end of April.

“The new drilling will be the sixth in less than a year,” he said.

“The unlawful operations of Turkey in different parts of Cyprus’ maritime zones have been uninterrupted since their launch on 4 May 2019,” Mavroyiannis added including a map showing all the drillings undertaken by Turkey in the past 12 months within the maritime zones of Cyprus, “as well as Turkey’s outlandish claims therein.”

Turkey’s actions, he stressed, “are a direct violation of Cyprus’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction under international law.”

At the same time, he continued, “Turkey continues to militarise the maritime space all around Cyprus and to illegally conduct unlawful seismic surveys within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.”

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