The Government of Cyprus condemns Turkey’s newly planned illegal drilling within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Provocatively ignoring the repeated calls by the international community, and especially those by the European Union, to terminate its illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, Turkey now attempts to conduct a new illegal drilling, this time in the southern EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, inside exploration block 8, which was duly licensed to the European companies ENI and TOTAL. This new attempted drilling constitutes yet another flagrant violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant customary International Law, and completely disregards the international EEZ delimitation agreements already in force between Cyprus and Israel, and Cyprus and Egypt, respectively.
Turkey is turning into a pirate state in the Eastern Mediterranean. Against the backdrop of the emerging energy synergies in the region, amply demonstrated by the creation of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo as recently as three days ago, as well as the signing two weeks ago of the EastMed Pipeline Agreement in Athens, Turkey insists on going down the path of international illegality it has chosen for itself.
With cynicism and hypocrisy, Turkey conducts its blatantly illegal activity in Cyprus’s EEZ/continental shelf purporting supposedly to act with the aim of protecting the rights of Turkish Cypriots, whilst at the same time claiming for herself 44% of Cyprus’ EEZ, to the detriment of the lawful rights of all Cypriots. Any assertions that the planned drilling is being conducted for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots are groundless and any purported “licensing” by the so-called “TRNC” is illegal, null and void, as per the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and International Law. It is reiterated that the interests of the Turkish Cypriots are fully safeguarded through the pursued comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, as attested by the relevant convergences achieved at the negotiating table and also by the proposals made by the President of the Republic./ibna