The Government of Cyprus strongly condemns the conduct by Turkey of hydrocarbon exploration drilling operations within the Exclusive Economic Zone/continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. This provocative action by Turkey constitutes a flagrant violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus according to International and European Union Law. At the same time, it serves to reveal the real intentions of Ankara in relation to the Cyprus question and explains why Turkey has rejected the proposal for an informal meeting, in a ‘Crans Montana format’, to discuss the Cyprus problem. It was precisely in this context precisely that the UN Security Council just recently underlined the need to avoid actions that damage the chances of success and urged the implementation and further development of confidence-building measures.
Fully aware of Turkey’s intentions, the Republic of Cyprus has taken and continues to take all necessary measures to address the situation, in its capacity as a Member State of the European Union and the United Nations and as a State that plays an active role in the Eastern Mediterranean.
It was in this vein that the European Council, in its Conclusions of March 2018, called on Turkey “to cease these illegal actions and respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources in accordance with EU and International Law”, recalling at the same time “Turkey's obligation to respect International Law and good neighbourly relations, and normalize relations with all EU Member States including the Republic of Cyprus”.
Furthermore, in the framework of the EU – Turkey Association Council of March 2019, the EU and its 28 Member States called on Turkey to “refrain from any such illegal actions to which the EU would respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus”.
In light of the above, action is already being undertaken at a legal, political and diplomatic level, utilizing all possibilities, and in particular within the framework of the European Union.