Greece, Cyprus, Egypt Jointly Condemn Turkey's 'Illegal Activities' in Eastern Mediterranean
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt have jointly condemned Turkey’s policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to a joint statement released on Tuesday following a trilateral summit in Athens.
"We condemned the illegal drilling and seismic operations by Turkish vessels in Cyprus EEZ/continental shelf, in maritime areas already delimited in accordance with international law. We also reiterated our condemnation of the continuous violations of Greek national airspace and territorial waters in the Aegean Sea and all other illegal activities in areas falling within Greece’s continental shelf, in contravention of international law", Cypriot presidency said in a statement published after the meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi.
The leaders further urged Ankara to abstain "in a consistent and sincere manner" from provocations and other actions that violate international law and called for a productive dialogue, which "cannot be conducted in an aggressive environment or under the threat of the use of force."
On the issue of Cyprus, the three sides reaffirmed their support of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions that call for a "bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship" and prompted Ankara to also abide by them.
The leaders criticized Turkey's decision to further open up areas of the buffer town of Varosha and demanded a return to negotiations to arrive at "a just, comprehensive and viable settlement" of the issue.
Cyprus has been de facto divided since 1974, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared in 1983, recognised only by Turkey.
Negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus have been conducted almost since the moment of its division. The UN has attempted brokering reunification talks, but the negotiation has reached an impasse.
In July, the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, backed by Ankara, unilaterally demilitarized the UN-protected quarter of Varosha, a town in the buffer zone that separates the Greek and Turkish communities on the island. The UN Security Council condemned the move, saying it violates all previous UN resolutions on Cyprus.