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Turkey’s illegal intrusion in Cyprus’ EEZ on agenda of next European Council

October 5, 2019 at 9:02am
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President  Nicos Anastasiades has informed the President of the European Council Donald Tusk about Turkey’s new illegal intrusion in a licensed block of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, during a telephone conversation they had on Friday, a written statement of Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou says.

According to Prodromou, Anastasiades asked Tusk to place the issue on the agenda of the next meeting of the European Council.

President Tusk reasserted that the European Council condemns Turkey’s illegal actions and that it stands in solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus and informed the President that he will add the issue on the agenda of the next Summit of the Council, on October 17 and 18, the Spokesman says.

He adds that Anastasiades informed Tusk about “the unacceptable announcements and plans of the occupation regime and Turkey regarding the fenced off area of Famagusta, in stark contrast with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council”.

The President stressed that these unacceptable actions are taking place while the UN Secretary General is making an effort to restart the Cyprus talks and are creating tension and suspicion, the Spokesman notes.

“Mr Tusk said that the UN resolutions must be respected and all actions and plans that contradict them must be terminated and reiterated the EU’s absolute support to the effort for the talks to resume in an appropriate climate”, says Prodromou.

According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship Yavuz, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7, has been licensed by the Government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.

“Yavuz”, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since May 4, 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” has been anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.

Cyprus has called on drill ship “Yavuz” and her supporting vessels  to immediately cease illegal actions in the Republic’ Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf.

A navigational telex (navtex),  published on  the  website of the Zenon Coordination Centre of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on ‘Yavuz’ and its supporting vessels will face consequences and an international arrest warrant will be issued against them.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.  Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

(Cyprus News Agency)