31 January, 2007
Foreign ministry rejects Turkish statements on Cyprus-Lebanon-Egypt agreements
Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, referring to an announcement by the Turkish foreign ministry on Tuesday concerning delineation agreements between Cyprus and Lebanon and Cyprus and Egypt, said that "they are positions that are in flagrant contrast with fundamental principles of international law, such as respect for national sovereignty."
Koumoutsakos said that the Turkish positions "are doubting directly and overtly the rights of third parties, of independent and sovereign countries to strengthen, in the framework of relations of good neighborliness, their cooperation in a peaceful way, in accordance with International Law and international rules."
Lastly, the spokesman said that "generally speaking, they are positions that are absolutely counter-productive which can only have a negative impact for the stability and economic development of the eastern Mediterranean, whose peoples desire a better future of peace and prosperity."
Turkey urged Lebanon and Egypt not to clinch to bilateral agreements with the Cyprus Republic over oil and gas exploration, saying they could harm efforts to settle the decades-old Cyprus problem.
"Turkey is determined to protect its rights and interests in the east Mediterranean and will not permit the (Greek Cypriot) initiatives to erode these," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
"We expect countries and companies thinking of carrying out exploration work for oil and natural gas based on invalid licenses that Greek Cyprus may try to hand out to consider the wishes of the Turkish Cypriots, the other nation on the island," the statement added.
Source: Athens News Agency