Turkey’s stance toward Cyprus is a “direct and blatant violation of international law, specifically the Law of the Sea as laid down in the Convention of Montego Bay in 1982,” President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Tuesday, while meeting a delegation from the American-Hellenic Institute during their annual visit to Greece.
Greeting the delegation, led by AHI President Nick Larigakis, Pavlopoulos praised the AHI’s role in defending the national issues and rights of Greece and Cyprus and said their visit coincided with a need to come to the defence of Cyprus over an issue that did not concern Cyprus alone but concerned the defence of the implementation of international and European law.
He noted that Turkey’s decision to begin drilling in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone was a violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and stressed that Ankara is bound by UNCLOS, irrespective of whether it has signed the specific treaty or not, since the very large number of states that have signed “generates generally accepted rules of international law that are binding for all.”
Consequently, the president added, Turkey’s stance is in direct contravention of international and European law since UNCLOS is a part of the European acquis and the EEZ of European Union member-states is also the EEZ of the EU.
“Turkey has against it the international community and the EU because Cyprus is in inseparable part of the international community and the EU, and part of its inner core, the Eurozone,” he added.
Turkey’s provocative attitude was unanimously and universally condemned, he noted, with reactions voiced by the EU, the US State Department and the leadership of NATO, apart from Greece.
Larigakis, on his part, assured the president that the AHI has always supported Greece and Cyprus and fights its own battle to defend the national issues of Greece and Cyprus.