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Media Watch 2007

08 February 2007
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 8 February 2007.
Cyprus takes Turkey threats to UN
"CYPRUS has officially protested to the UN over Turkish threats in relation to the oil and gas exploration off the island's coast."

"The island’s Cyprus' Permanent Representative at the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis yesterday sent a written representation to the UN Secretary General and the President of the Security Council.

It called the Turkish threats to put a stop to the exploration, and Ankara’s demand to Lebanon and Egypt not to implement deals with Cyprus as a provocation.

"It should be stressed that the relevant decisions of the government of the Republic of Cyprus are in full conformity with its sovereign rights stemming from the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea," the letter said.

It said there has been an unprecedented campaign "of disconcerting and tension-oriented articles published recently in the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot press on this issue".

Ankara let it be known last week that it was watching developments in the region by leaking information that Turkish warships were on patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"It constitutes not only a dangerous provocation and a threat to the regional peace and stability, but also an unconcealed and irresponsible violation of fundamental principles of international law, and of the letter and the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations," Mavroyiannis said.

"All states must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and from any intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state."

Turkey’s claims of rights and interests on the question of oil and natural gas in the continental shelf or the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus have no foundation in international law, he added.

Rather, they reveal the real motives of Turkish policy towards Cyprus, "which are not the often-proclaimed protection of the Turkish Cypriots, but the furtherance of Turkish expansionist designs and exploitation of the natural resources of Cyprus".

It was announced yesterday in the north that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat sent a letter to the Secretary-general of UN, in order to clarify the stance of the Turkish side about the attempt for oil search of the Greek Cypriot waters that surrounding Cyprus.

Talat’s spokesman Hasan Ercakica, said the issue had led to tensions.

"We expect from the international community which we expect to take the issue into consideration with good sense, to appraise the handling of such issue of oil search in the waters surrounding the Cyprus after a solution that shall be found to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible," Ercakica said.

Turkish Foreign Minster Abdullah Gul was also expected to raise the issue with his American counterpart Condoleezza Rice during his current trip to Washington."