Mediterranean Leaders Call on Turkey to Respect Cyprus Maritime Rights



Greece, Cyprus and Egypt on Wednesday called on Turkey to cease all illegal activities within the maritime zones of Cyprus and to refrain from similar actions in the future.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, made the statement following their 6th trilateral summit in Elounda, Crete where four memorandums were signed in education, research, customs, environment and entrepreneurship.

“We clearly expressed our support for Cyprus in its efforts to exercise its sovereign rights under international law with respect to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), against any third-country threat, and stressed the importance that this drilling has for the entire Cypriot people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” Alexis Tsipras said.

The declaration stressed the importance for the respect of the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction each state has over its maritime zones in accordance with international law, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and called on Turkey “to cease all illegal activities within the maritime zones of Cyprus and to refrain from similar actions in the future”.

“Cooperation is based on the well-established principles and rules of international law,” the declaration said, adding that in line with this principle, they were committed to proceeding expeditiously with their own negotiations on the delimitation of their common maritime boundaries where appropriate.

They also reviewed common challenges faced in the energy field, the need for diversification of energy resources and routes, the security of energy supply and the need to modernise and develop new energy infrastructure, for further promoting trilateral cooperation in the areas of hydrocarbons, electricity and renewable energy.

Strengthening cooperation could be done through a series of agreements on the exploitation and transfer of natural gas, “which further highlights the fact that the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves can serve as a catalyst for regional stability and prosperity”.