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Cyprus protests Turkish violations of its national airspace and territorial waters 

June 29, 2018 at 10:15am
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Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou, has strongly protested, in a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the continuing infringements of international air traffic regulations and the violations of the national airspace and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and appealed for their immediate cessation.

Korneliou transmitted two documents detailing the infringements of international air traffic regulations and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and the illegal use of closed ports by Turkish warships during the month of March 2018. He also informed the Secretary General that the occupation regime illegally issued three notices relating to exercises conducted by the Turkish Air Force in March 2018.

“It should be noted that Turkish commercial aircraft systematically use the illegal airport of Tympou. In addition, Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region (FIR) via radio calls. Meanwhile, Nicosia FIR infringements and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus continue unabated. Turkey’s policy of persistently breaching international law and defying international rules and regulations puts the safety of international civil aviation at risk, has a negative impact on the stability of the region and causes difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus,” Korneliou said in his letter.

He noted that these actions of Turkey, which has illegally occupied the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974, are clearly aimed at undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, bolstering the continuing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status by claiming a purported airspace over the occupied territory of the Republic.

“In that respect, I would like to underline, once again, that there is only one legal authority in Cyprus, the Republic of Cyprus, as stipulated in various Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), in which the Council declared the establishment of the so-called ‘TRNC’ as null and void,” he added.

“On behalf of my Government, I strongly protest the continuing infringements of international air traffic regulations and the violations of the national airspace and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and appeal for their immediate cessation. The Republic of Cyprus reiterates, in this respect, its call for adherence to the principle of sovereignty and non-interference enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,” Korneliou said in his letter.

Moreover, he urged Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to heed the calls of the international community and contribute to a meaningful resumption of the peace process, instead of focusing on undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, bolstering the continuing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status.

Korneliou requested that the letter and its annexes are circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 44, and of the Security Council.