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Cyprus lodges protest at UN over Turkey’s airspace and sea violations

June 27, 2019 at 9:36am
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Cyprus has strongly protested to the UN the violations of its national airspace, the infringements of international air traffic regulations in Cyprus’s flight information region and the illegal use of closed ports and airports in Cyprus by Turkey.

In a letter to UNSG Antonio Guterres, the Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations, Polly Ioannou has enclosed four documents detailing the violations of Cyprus’s national airspace, the infringements of international air traffic regulations in Cyprus’s flight information region and the illegal use of closed ports and airports in Cyprus by Turkey during the months of March and April 2019.

She said the persistent policy of violating international law and breaching international rules and regulations is a constant threat to international peace and security, negatively impacts regional stability, jeopardises the safety of international civil aviation, creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus and prevents the creation of an enabling environment in which to conduct the Cyprus peace process.

Ioannou reported that Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region via radio calls, while, during the same period, the regime installed by the occupying power in the area of Cyprus that it occupies illegally issued two notices to airmen relating to exercises conducted by the Turkish Air Force.

Additionally, she added, Turkish commercial aircraft systematically use the Tymbou airport, which continues to operate illegally following the closure by the Cyprus Government of all ports of entry in the areas where it does not exercise effective control.

She underlined that Turkey’s actions “are clearly aimed at undermining Cyprus’s sovereignty, consolidating the ongoing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status by claiming a purported airspace over the occupied territory of the Republic”.

Ioannou further stressed that there is only one Cypriot State, which is the Republic of Cyprus, as stipulated in various Security Council resolutions.

“On behalf of my Government, I strongly protest the continuing violations of the national airspace and the territorial waters of Cyprus by Turkey, as well as the infringements by the latter of international air traffic regulations, and appeal for their immediate cessation”, the Cypriot diplomat said.

The Republic of Cyprus, she said in the letter, calls for all States to respect Security Council resolutions and adhere to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

She further urged Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community to contribute to a meaningful resumption of the peace process, instead of focusing on undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and promoting Cyprus’s partition through the creation of facts on the ground and the consolidation of the status quo, including by seeking to politically upgrade the secessionist entity.

(Cyprus News Agency)