Coordinated reaction from Egypt-Israel-Greece-Cyprus to Ankara’s moves
Ankara is realizing that almost all eastern Mediterranean countries are acting in coordination in support of Nicosia on the issue of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); nevertheless it insists on carrying out its policy and sending the Fatih drilling rig off Paphos and esearch vessel Barbaros south of Limassol.
Moscow’s neutral stance on developments encourages the neighboring country. But there is concern about the attitude of Egypt that supports Cyprus, as of course Greece and Israel, which hit the offices of the Anadolu state-run Turkish agency in Gaza, a development that rekindles tension between Ankara and Tel Aviv.
Akar: “We will not allow a fait accomplis in Cyprus”
In this geostrategic setting, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that “Turkey will not allow its rights to be violated in the eastern Mediterranean.” In a statement to the Anadoly agency, Akar said “Turkey is determined to defend its rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean arising from international law. Turkey is a guarantor, determined to defend the rights of the citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
The Turkish minister said that “Turkey is able to defend its national interests and rights if necessary”.
Earlier, the EU had reacted by calling on Turkey not to drill in the Cypriot EEZ. “We are deeply concerned about Turkey’s intention to drill in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone. In March 2018, the European Council strongly condemned Turkey’s illegal activities in the eastern Mediterranean, “said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
Athens supports Nicosia
On its part, the Greek Foreign Ministry also urged Turkey to “immediately stop its illegal activities, to respect the inalienable rights of the sovereign Republic of Cyprus that it exercises for the benefit of the whole Cypriot people and to refrain from further actions that undermine stability in the region, as well as resuming talks on a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem”.
Alexis Tsipras: We will respond with determination to those who appear as the region’s cowboys
Alexis Tsipras’s reaction to developments was strong. The Greek PM stressed that “along with a message of prudence and cooperation, we also send a message of determination to those who think they can be the region’s cowboys. International law in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean must be respected and respected by all, for we are here to defend – and we will defend – our sovereign rights in whatever way we need to, whether alone or with our allies”, the prime minister said.
“We have the strength, the determination, and we will defend our rights in the Aegean and Cyprus,” Alexis Tsipras added.
Ankara’s stern reaction
The Turkish Foreign Ministry responded to Brussels’ and Athens’s statements, mentioning that “Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are based on its legitimate rights stemming from international law. As we have emphasized many times before, we will protect both our rights and interests on our continental shelf as the country with the largest coast, as well as the rights of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’. In this context, our country to date has not hesitated to take the necessary steps and will not hesitate from now on. ”
At the same time, Ankara states that “Turkey and the ‘TRNC’ cannot be excluded from the energy equation in the eastern Mediterranean and unconditional support to the Greek Cypriot administration (Republic of Cyprus) must stop. Moreover, those who have not taken steps to resolve this issue for years have no right to offer us advice today”, the Moreover, those who have not taken steps to resolve this issue for years.
Egypt supports the Republic of Cyprus
With a strong announcement, Egypt reacted to the presence of the Turkish drill in the Cypriot EEZ as well as to Ankara’s intention to carry out drilling activity.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry warned against any unilateral actions affecting security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region, highlighting the need for commitment to the rules and provisions of international law. “This provocative action by Turkey constitutes a blatant violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with the International Law and the Law of the European Union”, an announcement reads.
Moscow’s neutral stance
“The Russian Foreign Ministry is deeply concerned about information that the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is escalating. We firmly believe that any economic activity must comply with the rules of international law. We call for no action to be taken which could cause tension and create additional obstacles to the settlement of the Cyprus issue”, an announcement reads./ibna