Ankara slams EastMed declaration branding Turkish drilling ‘illegal’

Ankara slams EastMed declaration branding Turkish drilling ‘illegal’

A declaration signed on Monday by the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates denouncing “ongoing Turkish illegal activities” in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) “is a case in point of the hypocrisy of a group of countries who are seeking regional chaos and instability,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hami Aksoy, said on Monday.

Aksoy’s comments, quoted by Turkey’s state-run Anadolou Agency, came in the wake of a teleconference on Monday where the foreign ministers of the five countries discussed the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, agreeing that Turkey’s efforts to tap natural gas deposits in Cyprus’ EEZ represent “a clear violation of international law.”

The Turkish foreign minister also accused the five countries of “seeing no harm in sacrificing the democratic aspirations of the peoples to the callous aggression of putchist dictators.”

Aksoy’s comments came as lawmakers in Athens on Monday ratified, at the committee level, a deal for an undersea pipeline to carry gas from new offshore deposits in the southeastern Mediterranean to continental Europe signed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel earlier in the year.

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