FM Katrougalos condemns Turkey’s illegal activity in Cypriot EEZ

Foreign Minister George Katrougalos on Tuesday condemned Turkey’s illegal activity in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Katrougalos was speaking at the 4th International Conference of the Hellenic Society for Energy Economics, during which he referred to the importance of our country as well as its role as a rising energy hub in the region.

Referring to the tension that has prevailed in Cyprus’ EEZ in recent days due to Turkey’s decision to carry out illegal drilling there, Katrougalos stated that as long as Turkey continues to act outside the bounds of international law, it will further enhance its isolation. In addition, he called on Turkey to seek solutions based on international law, not to violate the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and to refrain from further unlawful actions. He also recalled the recent position of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, that the EU would respond in the appropriate manner and with full solidarity for the Republic of Cyprus.

Regarding energy relations and prospects in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, he referred to Greece’s increasing importance as an emerging energy hub at the crossroads between Asia, Africa and Europe. He also spoke of the energy projects in the region in the aftermath of the major deposits discovered in the eastern Mediterranean, with particular reference to the EastMed pipeline. Its implementation, according to the foreign minister, provides geopolitical advantages in addition to economic ones, as the pipeline will contribute to regional security and will enhance the diversification of energy sources, as is being attempted through the Southern Corridor.

Greece, the foreign minister stressed, is pursuing a multidimensional foreign policy aimed at consolidating stability, security and cooperation in the region. In this context, it has set up a series of trilateral cooperation schemes with Greece and Cyprus at their heart, while also promoting the connectivity of the region. After the exit from the crisis, he added, Greece will continue to act as a pillar of stability, presenting significant investment opportunities, bringing the West closer to the east and the south closer to the north.