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15-11-2019 14:38

Announcement by the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus on the illegal activities of Turkey within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus strongly deplores yet another attempt by Turkey to illegally conduct drilling operations within the maritime zones of Cyprus. The new planned drilling in the eastern exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of Cyprus, in close vicinity of its territorial sea, just 12.4 nautical miles from the coast of the Karpas peninsula, violates the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as customary International Law. The Government also deplores Turkey’s announced new illegal seismic surveys by seismic vessel ‘Oruç Reis’ spanning within a large area of the western EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, in violation of its sovereign rights therein.

The fact that Turkey’s new provocative actions were announced on the same day the European Union’s sanctions regime was put into force is an act of extreme and provocative defiance of international legality and European Union law, as well as the international community’s repeated calls to cease its illegal activities and respect the sovereignty and the exclusive sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.  

Any assertions that the planned drilling is being conducted under a “license” by the so-called “TRNC” to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has no legal standing whatsoever, and any drilling activities conducted on behalf or for the benefit of the illegal secessionist regime are illegal and null and void, which is also the case for the pseudostate itself, as per the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

It is also the least hypocritical that Turkey is supposedly defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, while at the same time claims for the State of Turkey the 44% of the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus to the detriment of the lawful rights of all Cypriots. The interests of the Turkish Cypriots will be best safeguarded through the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, and not by the conduct of illegal activities, just 10 days before the scheduled meeting of the President of the Republic of Cyprus with the T/C leader and the UN Secretary General, in Berlin.

We call once more on Turkey to immediately cease all its illegal activities and withdraw all its drilling and seismic vessels from Cyprus’ maritime zones. Recalling the sanctions regime that the European Union has put in place, targeting persons and entities involved in Turkey’s continued illegal drillings in the territorial sea, the EEZ and the continental shelf of Cyprus, we also call on all persons and entities involved in any way in Turkey’s illegal drillings to immediately disengage and disassociate themselves from any such illegal activities.