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Mitsotakis: Turkey's Behavior Blatantly Violates International Law

Athens News Agency

Greece s Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis talks during a press conference with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi after their meeting at the presidential palace in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Iakovos Hatzistavrou Pool via AP)

NICOSIA -- "The timing of this trilateral meeting coincides with the additional perils that Turkey's leadership is, unfortunately, creating in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is fantasizing about imperialist practices with belligerent acts, from Syria to Libya and from Somalia to Cyprus, from the Aegean to Caucasus. At times by drawing arbitrary maps or by signing void memoranda or by passing unfounded domestic laws on issues governed by international law. Chiefly, however, by accompanying all the above with successive unilateral provocations framed by an extreme and often hostile rhetoric. We agreed that it is a behavior that blatantly violates international law and questions international treaties while, in parallel, it undermines regional security, which all three countries are working hard for. It is a behavior which often violates UN Security Council and EU decisions. An attitude that creates problems for the Northatlantic Alliance and a behavior that is contrary to the positions expressly stated by very important countries, such as the USA, Russia, as well as the entire Arab World and all the neighboring countries," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, during joint statements made after the end of the 8th Cyprus-Egypt-Greece Summit on Wednesday in Nicosia.

"Ankara's illegal memorandum with the administration of Tripoli on the delimitation of non-existent common maritime zones is now proved to have deepened the Libyan crisis, while the transfer of Syrian mercenaries is spreading terrorist cells in North Africa, threatening the security of Europe itself, and finally undermining our common effort, which is to dismantle terrorism wherever this originates from," underlined Mitsotakis.

He pointed out that a political solution in Libya can only come from the Libyan people themselves, without the presence of foreigners on their territory, underlining that Greece is ready to contribute to a peaceful future for Libya.

Αssociated Press

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, and Greece s Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis clad due following their meeting at the presidential palace in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Iakovos Hatzistavrou / Pool via AP)

"Turkey's belligerence toward the Republic of Cyprus not only continues, with the deployment of vessels within Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, but is also escalating through a series of inflammatory initiatives, such as that of opening up the beach front in fenced-off Famagusta. This adds yet another wound in the occupied parts of the island and ignores UN's resolutions on the issue, and finally lays mines along the road towards a just solution of the Cyprus issue," the Greek prime minister added.

"After a period of intensive efforts for the resumption of exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece, exclusively on the issue of delimitating the maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, an initiative that many were awaiting, Ankara has unfortunately again chosen delinquency. Instead of sending an invitation to begin discussion, it instead set in motion a provocation with naval vessels. Instead of dialogue for solutions it chose a monologue of doubts and instead of fruitful discussions it presented illegal claims. However, only lawful acts generate justice. During that time, Athens signed and ratified two legal agreements to delimit its maritime zones with Italy and Egypt," Mitsotakis said.

The Greek premier also referred to Greece and Albania's agreement on Tuesday, underlining that "we prove in practice that, guided by the law, the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean can become regions of peace and stability".

He added that Turkey naturally has a place, if it wants, in this neighborhood of cooperation, "provided it can follow the same rules and ways of thinking that good neighborly relations and respect for international law demand".

Finally, he referred to his meeting with Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades and the two countries' cooperation, and both reaffirmed their common positions in matters related to the European Union.