Cyprus reports Turkish manoeuvres in occupied areas
Nicosia, Jun 24 (CNA) - The Defence Committee of the Cypriot House of Representatives has sent a letter to Chairman of the Defence Committee of the parliament of Luxembourg, currently holding the EU rotating presidency, reporting the blatant violation of the rules of international and European law and the decisions of the European collective bodies of the Common Foreign and Security Policy by Turkey, which carried out a search and rescue military exercise between June 21 and 23 off the northern shores of the island.
President of the Defence Committee Yiannakis Omirou said the violation would also be reported to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
Omirou was speaking yesterday after a meeting of the Committee, which was briefed by Ministry of Defence and National Guard General Staff representatives about the manoeuvres carried out by the Turkish occupation troops and the Turkish army off the northern shores of the island.
He said the exercise included the use of Turkish Armed Forces search and rescue frigates, corvettes, patrols and aircraft.
Omirou noted that the territorial waters and national air space of the Republic of Cyprus were violated, and that these manoeuvres were carried out not only in Cypriot territorial waters but also international waters around the island.
This means that Turkey is acting in violation of international law and EU decisions concerning the common foreign and security policy, which provides that European countries can undertake and carry out Petersberg operations that include search and rescue operations, Omirou said.
He added that in its letter to the Luxembourg parliamentary committee, the Cypriot Defence Committee calls for measures against a country, such as Turkey, which aspires to join the EU and at the same time disregards decisions of European collective institutional bodies.
Omirou said that in carrying out the exercise, the Turks referred to a pact signed between Turkey and the puppet regime in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.