Turkey fumes over a joint statement issued by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. In an angry statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry described as “baseless claims” the trilateral statement that, among others, condemned “Turkey’s unlawful actions in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, in parti-cular the escalating, provocative and illegal drilling activities, seismic surveys and military presence in Cyprus’ maritime zones.”
“The latest efforts of Greece and GCA to involve the countries in the region, in addition to the EU countries, in their maximalist national policies do not serve peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Turkish statement said.
Ankara claimed that “countries in the Eastern Mediterranean neither have authority, nor responsibility nor a word to say concerning the Aegean problems and the Cyprus issue.”
The statement stressed that “steps with political expediencies aiming to isolate and ignore Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean have no chance of success.”
With reference to the meeting between Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in New York a couple of days ago, the statement accused Greece of insincerity saying “it is also insincere on part of Greece to make baseless claims against Turkey at a time she extends cooperation messages to us.”
The statement concluded noting “there is no other way for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and for a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.’
It warned “projects which do not include Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in this region will never be efficient and effective,” and stressed “we will continue to defend resolutely both our and Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
The Joint Statement by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt issued on September 27 in New York said among others:
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Cristodoulides, of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry and of the Hellenic Republic Nikos Dendias “underlined the importance of respect of sovereignty, as well as sovereign rights and jurisdiction of each State over its maritime zones in accordance with international law including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Ministers reviewed the progress achieved in existing fields of cooperation and on the implementation of projects and welcomed the expansion of cooperation to new areas.
Regarding especially common challenges and prospects in the energy field, the Ministers welcomed the establishment of the “East Mediterranean Gas Forum”, highlighting its potential to serve as catalyst for closer cooperation among Eastern Mediterranean countries in this field. The Ministers also acknowledged the importance of projects in contributing to the energy security of the three countries and of Europe.
The Ministers called on Turkey to contribute constructively and in concrete terms for the resumption of structured and result oriented negotiations for a comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Such a solution must be compatible with the Republic of Cyprus’ capacity as an EU member state and fully safeguard its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.
The Ministers condemned Turkey’s unlawful actions in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, in particular the escalating, provocative and illegal drilling activities, seismic surveys and military presence in Cyprus’ maritime zones, which, blatantly violate the International Law and the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. In this regard, the Ministers also stressed that Turkey’s actions undermine the UN-led efforts for the resumption of negotiations for a viable, comprehensive Cyprus settlement and further destabilize the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.”