Cyprus Peace Process Roundup: This is how you call out bad behavior
Friday, November 14, 2014 | Georgia Logothetis
Yesterday, its members adopted a resolution that called out Turkey for its illegal acts:
1. Urges Turkey to show restraint and act in accordance with international law; deplores the escalation of threats and unilateral action by Turkey against the Republic of Cyprus in relation to the EEZ; recalls the legality of the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus; calls on Turkey to respect and fully implement the declaration issued by the European Community and its Member States on 21 September 2005, including the provision that the recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process;At a time when too many reactions to Turkey’s bad behavior employ a false equivalence which blames both sides for the current negotiation impasse, it is refreshing to see that the European Parliament made no qualms about flatly stating that Turkey and Turkey alone is sidelining the peace process.
2. Stresses that the Republic of Cyprus has the full and sovereign right to explore the natural resources within its EEZ, and that the Turkish maritime surveys must be seen as both illegal and provocative; demands that Turkish vessels operating in waters in and around the EEZ of Cyprus be withdrawn immediately;
3. Stresses that Turkey’s actions constitute a violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and of international law, including the UNCLOS; reiterates its call on the Turkish Government to sign and ratify the UNCLOS, which is part of the acquis communautaire , without further delay;
4. Urges Turkey to revoke its NAVTEX immediately, and to refrain from any violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus;
5. Calls on Turkey to respect the sovereignty of EU Member States over their territorial waters; reaffirms that the sovereign rights of the Member States include the right to enter into bilateral agreements and the right to explore and exploit their natural resources in accordance with the UNCLOS;
Meanwhile, nine Hellenic organizations, including HALC, have sent a letter to UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide asking for more action on the issue:
“Your reaction to date to Turkey’s violation of the Republic of Cyprus’ territorial waters and EEZ leaves us less confident about the efforts to reunify Cyprus than we have been for over a year”. “While we can appreciate attempts to deescalate tensions via quiet diplomacy, we fear that the extraordinary attempts your team and others are going through to avoid calling Turkey’s actions a provocation and statements that effectively blame the victim – the Republic of Cyprus and Greek-Cypriots in this case – are taking the process backwards”, they point out.Read the whole letter here.
Also, US ambassador to Cyprus John Koenig today noted in an interview that Turkey “is breaching the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and should leave so that reunification talks on the island can resume.”
Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides told MPs at a House Finance committee meeting to discuss the ministry’s 2015 budget, that Cyprus would be seeking assistance from foreign experts to see what legal measures could be taken against Ankara.