|UN Secreatry General Guterres (left) with President Anastasiades|
With regard to the press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, on Friday, 24 March 2017, concerning the hydrocarbon-related activities of the Republic of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus emphasizes the following:
The statement once more demonstrates Turkey’s disregard for conventional and customary International Law, as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, and contempt for the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus over its continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone.
International Law provides that a country’s natural wealth belongs to the state and the responsibility for managing it lies with its Government for the benefit of all its citizens. Consequently, actions that put into question the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus not only contradict International Law, but are also completely groundless.
It is regrettable that Turkey once more resorts to threats, in order to advance its own interests under the pretext of “concerns” over the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
The Republic of Cyprus will resolutely continue its policy in the field of hydrocarbons, in full respect of International and European Law. The President of the Republic Cyprus has taken a clear position affirming that Turkish Cypriots will benefit from the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the context of an agreed settlement of the Cyprus problem. In the bicommunal negotiations, it was agreed that natural resources will fall within the competences of the federal government.
To this end, Turkey is called upon to contribute in tangible terms to the resumption of the negotiating process and the achievement of a speedy reunification of Cyprus, through a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem that will allow all Cypriots to enjoy their rights freely and peacefully.