The Republic of Cyprus strongly condemns the announcement by Turkey to conduct new illegal seismic surveys within Cyprus continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), thus violating the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as they derive from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the International Law.
A press release by the Presidency says that the illegal Turkish NAVTEX issued late last night binds part of the maritime area, which has been legally demarcated between the Republic of Cyprus and Egypt, by a bilateral EEZ delimitation agreement in 2003, and concerns parts of the sea blocks 5 and 6 of the Cyprus EEZ, the second of which has been legally licensed to European companies.
“With this completely provocative action, Turkey continues to act as a serial violator of international law, and stubbornly refuses to comply with the repeated calls of the European Union and the international community to end its illegal actions and respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus,” the Presidency stresses.
Furthermore, it notes that the new Turkish illegal seismic surveys constitute another sign of contempt for the European Union, and recalls that only recently, after a thorough discussion at the level of heads of state and government the European Council took a clear position on the issue, calling on Turkey to refrain from unilateral actions that violate international law and the sovereign rights of the EU Member States. The Presidency says that the European Council will re-evaluate Ankara`s behavior in December.
Turkey must realise, it adds, that such actions do not contribute to the creation of a positive climate that should exist so that a productive dialogue can take place to resolve the Cyprus problem.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Ankara sent on several occasions seismic research vessels to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), to conduct unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, in areas licensed by Cyprus to international energy companies.
The European Council reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law and in February 2020, placed two persons under restrictive measures, in relation to Turkey`s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Turkish side illegally opened on October 8 part of the beach of the abandoned town of Famagusta, in violation to numerous UN resolutions.