The red color shows the areas seized by Turkey in Cyprus’ EEZ. The yellow color shows the areas were the Cypriot government authorized drilling operations for gas and oil.
By Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia
The plenary of the House of Representatives approved on Thursday a resolution denouncing Turkey`s aggressive behaviour in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus and the violation of rules of international law and international legality.
The resolution calls on Turkey to abandon any dangerous plans as well as the EU Member States and the international community to exert substantial pressure on Turkey to comply with international law, UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its obligations towards Cyprus as a candidate country for EU membership.
It also urges Cyprus` EU partners, European institutions and the international community in general to adopt measures and sanctions against Turkey if threats and violations continues.
The resolution notes that the House is following with deep concern Turkey`s recent and provocative actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus.
The House describes as an “unacceptable” Turkey`s call on Cyprus to “cooperate” in this context, while Turkey continues its illegal occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus for 40 years and its illegal settlement in the occupied territories.
It also stressed that Turkey`s recent provocative action within Cyprus` EE is the most serious violation against the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Last week, Turkey issued a notice to mariners, advising that it was reserving areas south of Cyprus for seismic surveys from October 20 to December 30. Some of these areas are part of the Republic`s EEZ. Following this development, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades decided on Tuesday to suspend, for the time being, his participation in the UN-led peace talks in response to Turkish provocations in the island`s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Cyprus, a full EU member state since 2004, is divided by Turkish military troops since 1974. Turkey still occupies 37% of Cyprus` territory. The latest round of UN-led peace talks began in February 2014 after Anastasiades and Eroglu agreed on a joint statement.
“Pillar of stability”
The President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades said today that Cyprus can become a pillar of stability and security in the region through the solution of the Cyprus problem as well as through energy related issues.
President Anastasiades was speaking this afternoon, at the Presidential Palace, to Representatives Gus Bilirakis, Gregory Micks and Jack Kingston, of the US Congress.
According to an official press release, he briefed the Congressmen on the current situation on the Cyprus problem and the Turkish provocations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus. He also referred to the enhanced relations and the strategic partnership between Cyprus and the United States of America.
Athens calls on Turkey to stop
Greece has responded today with a strict statement, issued this evening by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to what it calls “the sad paradox” that Turkey is “provoking tension” by not recognizing the Republic of Cyprus’s, legal and sovereign rights to conduct research for natural gas and petroleum within its Exclusive Economic Zone maritime blocks.
This, according to the Greek Foreign Ministry clearly “undermines the negotiation process for the resolution of the Cyprus issue” especially now that the UN Special Envoy has just taken up his duties, and also while the international community’s attention is focused on the struggle against the Islamic state, on dealing with many crisis hotspots in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
US says pressure on Turkey
US Congressman Bus Bilirakis has said that pressure should be put on Turkey on the matter of its interference with the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus.
Bilirakis made it clear that “we stand behind you, united”. There are two other members (of Congress) here, he said, “and they agree that Turkey cannot, it`s illegal to interfere with Cyprus` EEZ”.
He was speaking to journalists after a meeting he and another two members of the US Congress Gregory Meeks and Jack Kingston had with House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou.
On his part Omirou thanked the three Congressmen for their position and said they agreed to stay in touch since the US as a superpower “can play an extremely important role to restore conditions of security, stability, peace and cooperation in the region in general and as concerns the Cyprus issue to find a solution compatible with UN resolutions and the principles and values of the EU in which Cyprus belongs”.
Unilateral actions and demonstration of force in the Cypriot settlement are inadmissible and fraught with aggravating the situation in Cyprus and in the East Mediterranean region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
President of the Senate of the Netherlands Ankie Broekers-Knol stated that Turkey must respect Cyprus` sovereign rights in the Republic’s exclusive economic zone, in accordance with international law.
Broekers-Knol, who is paying a two-day official visit in Cyprus, upon the invitation of House President Yiannakis Omirou, met today with the President and members of the House Committee of Foreign and European Affairs.