Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece and the UAE against Turkish aggression in Libya and Eastern Mediterranean
Building upon prior consultations and regular coordination between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece along with France within the framework of the “3 + 1” formula, the Foreign Ministers of these Countries, joined by their counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, held a teleconference meeting on Monday, to discuss the latest worrying developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as a number of regional crises that threaten peace and stability in this region.
The Ministers denounced in a joint statement the ongoing Turkish illegal activities in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone and its territorial waters, as they represent a clear violation of international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The statement affirms that it is the sixth attempt by Turkey in less than a year to illegally conduct drilling operations in Cyprus’ maritime zones.
They also condemned the escalation of Turkey’s violations of the Greek national airspace, including over flights of inhabited areas and territorial waters in violation of International Law. Furthermore, the Ministers condemned the instrumentalization of civilians by Turkey in an attempt to illegally cross Greek land borders as well as its continued support for illegal crossings of Greek sea boundaries. The Foreign Ministers urged Ankara to fully respect the sovereignty of all States in their maritime zones in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece and the UAE reiterated that the Memorandum of Understanding on the Delimitation of the Maritime Jurisdiction Areas in the Mediterranean, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Military Cooperation, signed in November 2019, between Turkey and Fayez El Sarraj, are respectively in contravention of international law and the UN arms embargo in Libya, and that both undermine regional stability. Their Foreign ministers recalled that the Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third States.
They deeply regretted the escalation of hostilities in Libya and recalled the commitment to refrain from any military foreign intervention in Libya as agreed in the conclusions of the Berlin conference. In this regard, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece and the UAE strongly condemned Turkey’s military interference in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN arms embargo, and to stop the influx of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya. “These developments constitute a threat to the stability of Libya’s neighbours in Africa as well as in Europe”. The joint statement affirms, calling on the Libyan parties to observe a truce during the holy month of Ramadan.
Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece and the UAE finally stressed their commitment to work towards a comprehensive political solution to the Libyan crisis under the auspices of the United Nations, and expressed their keenness for the resumption of the meetings of the three tracks of the Berlin process, Political, military, economic and financial.”The distortion of the steps taken by Turkey to defend its legitimate interests, which are based on international law, through unjust and illegal pretexts is unacceptable.” The spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Ankara, Hami Aksoy, commented in a short note.