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Cyprus condemns Turkish threats over oil exploration rights
2007-02-08 10:57:34

Nicosia, Feb 7 - Cyprus Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis has said that threats by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul about red lines on the issue of oil explorations have been taken into consideration, but do not discourage the Republic of Cyprus from exerting its legal sovereign and internationally-recognized rights.

Turkey has reacted with threats to agreements signed recently by Cyprus with neighboring countries regarding the exploration and exploitation of possible oil reserves or natural gas in the sea area off the Mediterranean island.

Cyprus has also protested to the United Nations over these threats. A letter by Cyprus' Permanent Representative at the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis stressed that the Turkish reaction is ''yet another provocative action'' against the Republic of Cyprus, ''specifically the threats and attempted intimidations.''

''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 also pointed out.

Moreover, the Turkish threats “constitute 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, of norms of just cogens and of the letter and the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations,” it added.

The Permanent Representative also stressed that ''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.''

He added: ''Having already flagrantly violated these very principles and norms in 1974, Turkey prefers to be oblivious to the fact that the international community has clearly rejected and refused to accept the faits accomplis of its illegal military occupation of the northern part of Cyprus and its attempts to destroy a member of the UN, namely the Republic of Cyprus, through the establishment'' of the illegal regime in the occupied areas.

''In fact, with resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), the Security Council called for the respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus and considered the declaration, which purported to create an independent state in northern Cyprus, as legally invalid,'' he also points out.

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