EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, flew on Friday with Cyprus Defence Minister Savvas Angelides by helicopter over Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Angelides posted a photo with Borrell on Twitter aboard the helicopter expressing thanks to the European External Action Service and the European Commission for their support and solidarity.
“Flying with Josep Borrell to observe the situation in Cyprus` EEZ. Thanks eu_eeas and EU_Commission for the support and the solidarity. Cyprus has a key role to implement the #EU Global strategy in the region preserving the International Law,” Angelides said in his tweet.
Flying🚁with @JosepBorrellF to observe the situation in #Cyprus EEZ. Thanks @eu_eeas & @EU_Commission for the #support & the #solidarity. Cyprus has a key role to implement the #EU Global strategy in the region preserving the International Law.
🇨🇾🤝🇪🇺 @EUCYPRUS pic.twitter.com/9GwpmEFJh5
— Savvas Angelides (@AngelidesSavvas) June 26, 2020
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” arrived last April in the exclusive economic zone (ΕΕΖ) of Cyprus, after Ankara announced another attempt to drill a well in blocks licensed to European companies. This is the 6th time Turkey attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, this time in an area that covers part of exploration blocks 6 and 7, which have been licensed to ENI and TOTAL.
In a statement on May 15, EU Foreign Ministers deplored the fact that Turkey has not yet responded to EU calls to cease such activities and reiterated their call on Ankara to show restraint, refrain from such actions, and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus, in accordance with international law. EU Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed previous Council and European Council conclusions, notably those of June 2019 and October 2019 on Turkey’s continued illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.