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Egypt, Greece and Cyprus' foreign ministers denounce Turkey’s latest activities in the Eastern Mediterranean

Ahram Online , Monday 11 May 2020
sameh shoukry
(Photo courtesy of The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Facebook page)
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The foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus denounced the “illegal moves” Turkey made in the territorial waters of Cyprus and its violation of Greek airspace.

The three countries issued a joint statement on Monday following a meeting between the three foreign ministers, along with the foreign ministers of France and the UAE, to discuss the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in addition to a number of regional crises.

In the statement the foreign ministers expressed their “deep concern” towards the current escalation and the “provocative movements” perpetrated by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The ministers condemned “the illegal Turkish movements” in the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus, as they represent “a violation of international law according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

According to the statement, this is Turkey’s sixth attempt in less than a year to carry out illegal excavations within the maritime territory of Cyprus.

The ministers also denounced Turkey's violations of Greek airspace, including overflights in Greek populated areas and territorial waters in violation of international law.

They also called out Turkey for its “systematic exploitation of civilians” allegedly through prompting them to illegally cross the Greek land and sea borders.

“The ministers called upon Turkey to fully respect the sovereignty of all states and their sovereign rights in their maritime areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.”

The ministers reaffirmed that the two memoranda of understanding (MoU) on maritime borders and security signed by the Turkish and Libyan prime ministers in November 2019 are contrary to international law and the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Libya.

They added that the MoU on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean undermine regional stability and violate the sovereign rights of third states and the law of sea, stressing that it has no legal effect or impact on the rights of the third countries.

The ministers “strongly condemned” the Turkish military intervention in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN weapon embargo and stop the flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya, as this threatens the stability of Libya's neighbouring countries in Africa and Europe.

The ministers called on the Libyan conflicting parties to abide by the truce during the holy month of Ramadan, and affirmed their commitment towards reaching a comprehensive political solution for the Libyan crisis under the auspices of the United Nations.

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