A group of British Cypriots have written to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to call upon Turkey to remove its warships from Cyprus’ EEZ, adhere to international law and allow the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its sovereign and legal rights to explore and exploit its natural resources and to stress that Gunboat diplomacy has no place in the 21st centrury.
Dear Mrs May,
We, the undersigned British citizens, members of the strong Greek Cypriot Community, that originate from cities, towns and villages of the occupied by the Turkish army since 1974 northern part of Cyprus, considering:
1) The recent blockade by Turkish warships of the drillship Saipem 12000, commissioned by Italian energy company ENI, en route to a drilling location in Block 3 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to conduct exploration work in full compliance with a permit issued by the Republic of Cyprus,
2) The Turkish Navy’s recent illegal actions within the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ and Turkey’s attempts to escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean through increased military presence, and to prohibit the Republic of Cyprus from exercising its sovereign right to explore its natural resources,
3) The increased hostility from Turkey towards the Republic of Cyprus over the past few years, due to the latter’s sovereign and legal plans to exploit significant hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean sea bed within its internationally recognised EEZ through contracts with international companies including Noble Energy, ExxonMobil, Total, and ENI,
4) The increased anxiety and concern of the people of Cyprus, due to Turkey’s recent provocative actions,
5) The concerns expressed by Rt Hon Members of Parliament on this issue,
6) The 27 European Heads of State as well as the European Parliament’s full and firm support towards the Republic of Cyprus’ government and citizens as expressed by its President Antonio Tajani on 23/2/2018 following Turkey’s provocations,
We urge you to call upon Turkey to remove its warships from Cyprus’ EEZ, adhere to international law and allow the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its sovereign and legal rights to explore and exploit its natural resources. Gunboat diplomacy has no place in the 21st centrury.
Leonidas Leonidou, Andreas Tambourides, Antonis Savvides, Doros Partasides, George Hadjipavlis, Ioannis Kouvaros, Serafim Diakou, Spyros Neophytou, Stella Dimenis,Tasos Poyiatzis.
26 February 2018
cc. Theresa Villiers, MP, Mathew Offord, MP, Roger Gale, MP, Mike Freer, MP, Sheryll Murray, MP, Sir David Amess, MP, Martin Vickers, MP.