Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis in statements made here on Wednesday night after meeting with Cyprus Republic President Demetris Christofias characterized the so-called “agreement” on the continental shelf reached between Turkey and the regime in occupied northern Cyprus as a “completely illegal action,” underlining that it shows “how far Turkey is from international law.”
FM Lambrinidis, who is in New York for the 66th UN General Assembly, stressed that “this is a completely illegal action, without substance, without validity, which shows - if nothing else - how far removed Turkey is from international law and the role it should be playing in the region; not that of law-breaking gendarme, but that of a country that could contribute right now to stability in a region like ours - a region with so many problem areas.”
He underlined that “this action is obviously condemnable” and President Christofias “has our undivided support for the only way out of all these problems: the resolution of the Cyprus issue in the manner determined by the UN.”
On his part, President Christofias said that Turkey’s illegal actions continue and called on Ankara to “directly guide Mr. Eroglu to reach an agreement” with the Greek Cypriots, underlining that “the Turkish Cypriots have nothing to lose. In fact, they have much to gain, because these issues of exploitation of hydrocarbons come under the authority of the central government” and “in its budget, the central government will distribute to both communities, to the two component communities, the revenues from this exploitation.”
“The convergence of Athens’ and Nicosia’s views is and should be considered a given,” he said, pointing out that “Greece is our greatest support. This is a fact in these difficult conditions for Greece and Cyprus.”
President Christofias stressed that “we need to stand by one another absolutely. I express my gratitude for this support and understanding and for the joint actions we are proceeding with in order to confront Turkey’s provocations and expansionist policy. What Turkey is doing in reply - shall we say - to the Republic of Cyprus’s perfectly legal exploration for hydrocarbons within its EEZ is a provocation that is completely unacceptable because it is an illegal act compounding illegality.
By this, I mean that Turkey is concluding an agreement with a pseudo-state that has twice been condemned unanimously by the UN Security Council and General Assembly, as well as by individual states. In resolution 541, when the pseudo-state was declared, and in resolution 550, when Turkey exchanged ambassadors with the pseudo-state. So I consider this action to be a continuation of those illegal actions, and as such we denounce it. I will also denounce it in my speech tomorrow to the General Assembly.”
In conclusion, he said that “the message to the Turkish Cypriots and to Turkey is that we should find a solution as soon as possible,” adding that “as President of the Republic, I would say that I guarantee that even before a solution - in case Turkey does not want to show good will - if we have revenues, we will see how we can use these revenues for the good of the two communities. This has to be clear.”