Athens calls on Ankara to ‘reverse course’ over Cyprus EEZ

The Greek Foreign Ministry on Monday called on Turkey to “reverse course” after a Turkish seismic exploration vessel reportedly entered Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) earlier in the day.

In a terse statement, Greece’s Foreign Ministry urged Ankara “to reverse course, not just with the vessel, but also in its foreign policy, and to manoeuver within the framework of international legality, to assist and support the negotiations in Cyprus, and to move within the framework of legality, which is the secure framework both for our bilateral relations and for Turkey’s European course.”

The Barbaros, accompanied by two support vessels, entered the Cypriot EEZ at around 6.30 a.m. on Monday, according to Nicosia. The move comes a few days after Turkey issued a maritime order, or NAVTEX, for the area. This prompted Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to freeze reunification talks with Turkish-Cypriots.

“Turkey is not claiming anything there. Turkey appears to be acting in the name of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state,” the Greek Finance Ministry’s statement said. “Thus, the core of the case is Turkey’s refusal to recognize the existence and the international legal personality of the Republic of Cyprus.

“Turkey is undermining the dialogue in Cyprus and creating a crisis hotspot at a time when the international community’s attention is focused – and must be focused – on Kobani, on ISIS, on the fight against international terrorism and the crises Europe is facing in its southern and eastern neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the front is being ruptured, and Turkey’s responsibility in this matter is huge,” the statement added.

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