With an official letter to the UN Secretary General Turkey denies Greece and Cyprus practically of their legal rights to the continental shelf of the Easter Mediterranean. In an exclusive report, Liberal.gr reveals Turkey’s response to the deposition of the Joint Communiqué of Trilateral Greece – Cyprus – Egypt to the UN.
This letter attempts to serve as a warning for Cairo as well, as Ankara does not conceal its concern, due to its hostile relations with the Egypt’s moderate muslim government, over the talks between Greece and Egypt on the delimitation of their continental shelf. There is also a dispute on Cyprus’s intense cooperation with Egypt and their cooperation for the construction of a pipeline from the Cyprus EEZ to the Egyptian coast for the transfer of natural gas to be liquedified to the latter’s installations there.
In his letter dated March 27, 2018, Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ferrindun Sinirlioglu, disputes the reference to the existence of “common maritime borders” between the three countries and repeats the unilateral claim of his country over all the continental shelf west of Cyprus and up to Crete and Rhodes!
The verbal statements, to which Turkey refers, describe the unilateral and arbitrary Turkish “delimitation” of the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, which Ankara believes should be made at the base of the equidistant line between the Turkish and Egyptian coasts, “wiping out” Greece and Cypriot from the area. There are references to the illegal granting of the right to the Turkish company TRAO to conduct research for hydrocarbons, in areas which overlaps the continental shelf of Rhodes and Kastelorizo.
On 13 February, the Permanent Representatives of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, Maria Theophilis, Cornelius Korneliou and Mohamed Omar Gand (A/72/760), filed with the UN the text of the Joint Declaration of the Tripartite Summit Tsipra-Sisi-Anastasiadis which took place on 21 November 2017 in Nicosia.
In the Declaration there was a paragraph dedicated to the three countries’ respect for the rules of the Convention on the Law of the Sea and, among other things, there was a clear reference to their “commitment to promote without delay the talks on demarcation of the common maritime borders” and at the same time inviting Turkey to stop illegal activities in the maritime areas of Cyprus and to avoid similar actions in the future.