Review Hari Stefanatos
The Chairman of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, yesterday condemned the violation of international law by Turkey in Cyprus EEZ, while confirming that the Foreign Committee in the Parliament will prepare a resolution for this issue to be discussed soon.
The statement by Mr. Pittella was made after the meeting with the President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou, this afternoon in the European Parliament. The President of the Socialists and Democrats expressed his satisfaction, first because he received the President of the House of Representatives, “the friend and companion Giannakis Omirou”, he said.
“I would like to express the conviction for the violation of the international law by Turkey. This is an act that struck a sovereign State, the Republic of Cyprus, but also another Member State, Italy which has commercial interests”, he said. “Our voice will be heard on this issue and I can confirm that the Foreign Committee is preparing a draft resolution to be discussed and approved as soon as possible”, he said.
According to Mr. Pittella, actions of this kind are an obstacle to the peace process, and efforts towards the resolution must not be abandoned. “I support Turkey’s accession to the EU and for this reason I speak objectively and not as an opponent of Turkey, but when such actions arise, undoubtedly Turkey puts an own goal and ultimately hinder a perspective that I would like to go forward with”, concluded the Italian president.
On his part, Mr. Omirou, thanked the president of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for this meeting which completed the round of his contacts in the European Parliament with Martin Schulz and representatives of all political groups.
“The issue that we discussed extensively with President Pittella were the flagrant violations of international law and in particular the international United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 on the part of Turkey and the guidance issued to seafarers from October 20 to the end of the year. “An action which dynamites security, peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean”, he said.
I have analysed to the President the legal position that this is a case of violation of European law, because the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is part of the Community acquis. I also explained that the delimitation of the EEZ of Cyprus to Israel, Lebanon and Egypt have established maritime borders not only in Cyprus with these countries, but the maritime borders of the EU in southern Europe are set, he said.
In conclusion, the Chairman of the House of Representatives, thanked Pittella for the clear statement he made a few days ago, which recognizes the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and also thanked him for the readiness of bringing this debate to the Committee of Foreign Affairs and then in plenary, probably in November.
Mr. Homer invited the President of the Socialists and Democrats to officially visit Cyprus and it will be done, as he said, in consultation with the Cypriot MEPs participating in the group.