Greek Foreign Ministry calls on Turkey to stop violating international law

The Greek Foreign Ministry on Friday criticized Turkey for its intention to drill again in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), calling the plan something that contradicts every sense of legality, undermines stability in the region and leads the country farther away from European accession.

“Turkey’s intention to carry out new drilling within the Cyprus EEZ follows on a series of violations against the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, of international law and of the European acquis,” a statement by the ministry said.

In particular, it said, “drilling within a marine region which is not just within the Cyprus Republic’s EEZ and continental shelf, but is also delineated and licensed to European companies, fully contradicts every sense of legality, ignoring the EU’s and international community’s appeals for respect of the Cyprus Republic’s rights and for de-escalating tension.”

Actions like these, the ministry said do not contribute to the absolute need for stability and security in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. On the contrary, it said, “they undermine every effort for establishing peace and cooperation in the region.”

The ministry recalled the conclusions of the European Council (June 20, 2019) and those of the Council of Foreign Affairs (July 15, 2019), and pointed out that the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission have both been called upon to continue working on the adoption of targeted measures against Turkey.

Expressing its solidarity with Cyprus, and saying it is in constant communication with it, with the EU and with international allies on the issue, the ministry said that the pursuit of fait accomplis in the region does not result in lawfulness, but “violates fundamental European values and creates greater distance from the European Union.”

“We call on Turkey once again to respect international law, and the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic,” the statement concluded.