The UK Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan has responded to a National Federation of Cypriots in the UK open letter regarding Turkey’s illegal incursion into Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (“EEZ”).
The Minister stated that he had raised the issue with the Turkish Ambassador in London, and the British Ambassador in Ankara had also engaged with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, to urge de-escalation.
He went on to say: “We have been clear both publicly and privately that we oppose their plans to drill”, urging “dialogue, in accordance with International law” to be used, not “force, militarisation or coercion”.
The Federation President, Christos Karaolis, wrote to the Minister following his response to an oral question by Bambos Charalambous MP on May 14, 2019 urging the UK Government to: clearly condemn Turkey’s action; call on Turkey to remove its drilling vessels and warships from the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ and; take action to ensure that this happened.
The Minister went on to reaffirm the position of the UK Government that it recognises the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit its oil and gas.
In closing, the Minister highlighted the ever closer cooperation between the UK and Cyprus and said “I want to reassure the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK of the great importance the UK attaches to this enduring friendship.”
(Cyprus News Agency)