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Venizelos denounces Turkish provocations

The dispatch of the research vessel "Barbaros" by the Turkish Navy in the EEZ of Cyprus, as well as the proclivities of the Turkish Navy in Greek territorial waters have finally resulted in a statement from foreign minister, and government vice president Evangelos Venizelos.

Here is the text of the announcement:

“Unfortunately, Turkey did not listen to the voice of the international community, did not listen to the voice of the UN and the European Union, did not listen to the voice of international legality.

Its vessel, Barbaros, is in the region of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and will attempt to carry out exploration that is obviously a flagrant flouting of the International Law of the Sea, because in this region there is no question as to the delimitation of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey is not claiming anything there. Turkey appears to be acting in the name of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state. Thus, the core of the case is Turkey’s refusal to recognize the existence and the international legal personality of the Republic of Cyprus. But the Republic of Cyprus is a member state of the UN, of the European Union and of the Eurozone; a state that is recognized globally by all the members of the UN, apart from Turkey.

If Turkey does not see that the Republic of Cyprus exists, it is itself throwing up insuperable obstacles to its European course and perspective. If Turkey does not see that the Republic of Cyprus exists, there is no framework for the negotiations regarding the future of the Republic of Cyprus and the coexistence and symbiosis of the two communities.

Turkey is undermining the dialogue in Cyprus and creating a crisis hotspot at a time when the international community’s attention is focused – and must be focused – on Kobani, on ISIS, on the fight against international terrorism and the crises Europe is facing in its southern and eastern neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, the front is being ruptured, and Turkey’s responsibility in this matter is huge.

That is why we call on Turkey to reverse course, not just with the vessel, but also in its foreign policy, and to manoeuver within the framework of international legality, to assist and support the negotiations in Cyprus, and to move within the framework of legality, which is the secure framework both for our bilateral relations and for Turkey’s European course.”