Cyprus Defence Minister Savvas Angelides has expressed Cyprus’ gratitude towards Greece and Egypt over their firm support as regards the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem. In his statements, after the completion of the Trilateral Meeting of Defence Ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which was held in Athens, on Tuesday, Angelides said that the illegal Turkish actions in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which blatantly violate the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and the international law, were on the agenda of discussions.
He also explained that during the meeting further enhancement of the already excellent cooperation between the three countries in the areas of security and safety was discussed, as well as the need for concrete actions to safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Cypriot Defence Minister announced that the next Trilateral Summit on regional security cooperation at Defence Minister level will be held in Cyprus, in 2020. “The trilateral cooperation of our countries on defence and security issues will be further enhanced in 2020, showing thus that regional cooperation reinforces security and protects us against illegal and terrorist actions”, Angelides said.
After the meeting concluded, the three Defence Ministers released a joint statement, in which, among other things, they denounce the Turkish illegal operations in Cyprus’ EEZ.
The statement calls on Turkey “to immediately cease these actions and respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its maritime areas, as determined by the international Law and UNCLOS”.
According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship “Yavuz”, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7 has been licensed by the government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council agreed on October 14 that a framework regime of restrictive measures targeting natural and legal persons responsible for or involved in the illegal drilling activity of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean is put in place. The European Council endorsed during its meeting on October 17 and 18 the EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Turkeyʼs illegal drilling activities in CyprusʼEEZ and reaffirmed its solidarity with Cyprus, adding that it will remain seized of this matter.