After President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades almost two weeks ago, it was Greek government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos‘ turn to warn Turkey over legal action if it does not respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights. Addressing the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Venizelos underlined that Greece and Cyprus may proceed with other than political measures against Turkey that is continuously provoking the two countries and “violates international legitimacy and does not respect international law.”
“Our reaction is, so far, strong political, but it can also acquire legal characteristics. Greece in all tones, has explained that neither the tripartite agreement between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt nor that between Greece, Cyprus and Israel are of aggressive nature and do not turn against any of the neighboring countries,” Venizelos said, defending at the same time Cypriot President Anastasiades’ decision to withdraw from the inter-communal talks under the United Nations for a solution to the Cyprus problem until Ankara ceases the provocations in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“When the joint communication of the inter-communal talks was agreed, all data regarding the EEZ and all intergovernmental agreements had already been configured and signed. The Turkish side knew all the facts before the start of the inter-communal negotiations,” Venizelos underlined, who in high tones condemned Turkey’s extremely provocative attitude. The Greek Foreign Minister even paralleled today’s situation with the 1974 invasion in Cyprus, when Turkey again “raised its capacity as a guarantor power.”
“There is no dispute concerning the delimitation of the EEZ. There is no controversial area, even if one was to accept the brutal de facto divided solution imposed on the island. The Republic of Cyprus shall exercise all legal rights under international rules and conventions,” the Greek Foreign Minister concluded, rejecting at the same time the Turkish allegations on the exploitation of Cyprus’ mineral wealth at the expense of the Turkish-Cypriot side, highlighting that the hydrocarbons will be beneficial for both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, when a solution is found on the island’s long-lasting issue. The central government will guarantee that, he declared.