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Cyprus Wants UN Help to Stop Turkish Air, Waters Violations

The National Herald

FILE - In this Sept. 2016 photo provided by Greek Coast Guard the Gavdos 090 vessel is docked on an Aegean island. (Greek Coast Guard via AP)

Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kornelios Korneliou has asked the body to intervene and stop continued violations of the island’s waters and airspace by Turkish warships and planes.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who failed last year to help broker a reunification deal for the island and blamed nobody for anything, Korneliou protested the ongoing Turkish incursions which keep happening without any rebuke from the international community, apart from a tepid protest from the European Union and some backing from the United States which Cyprus has the right to explore for energy.

Turkish warships are trying to keep foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas where they have licenses from the government as Turkish-Cypriots who have been occupying the northern third since an unlawful 1974 invasion have protested.

“The Republic of Cyprus reiterates, in this respect, its call for adherence to the principle of sovereignty and non-interference enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,” Korneliou said in the letter although the UN has already ignored entreaties from President Nicos Anastasiades to get involved.

“It should be noted that Turkish commercial aircraft systematically use the illegal airport of Tymbou. In addition, Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region (FIR) via radio calls. Meanwhile, Nicosia FIR infringements and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus continue unabated,” he said, the Cyprus Mail reported.

“Turkey’s policy of persistently breaching international law and defying international rules and regulations puts the safety of international civil aviation at risk, has a negative impact on the stability of the region and causes difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus,” he added.

Negotiations to bring the island together again collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Turkey insisted on keeping an army in the occupied territory and the right to militarily intervene, invade, again when it wanted which was too much even for Anastasiades who was willing to let a Turkish-Cypriot share a rotating Presidency.