Cyprus has petitioned the International Court of Justice at The Hague to protect its offshore energy wealth due to Turkey’s illegal activity in the island’s maritime zones, said President Nicos Anastasiades.
He said the legal process would not be without its difficulties.
Nicosia felt compelled to make the move due to Turkey’s encroachment in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone where it has sent drillships.
The EU has agreed on targeted sanctions against Turkey over the illegal activity in Cyprus waters. Turkey does not recognise Cyprus as a sovereign state or its maritime boundaries.
“We have said that we will use every legitimate and legal weapon, in every international forum and organisation, to defend the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, and the appeal to the Court in The Hague has this purpose,” Anastasiades.
Acknowledging that such an appeal required the acceptance of both sides, Anastasiades said: “There is a process through which the intention of a country to appeal to the Court in The Hague is made known”.
“We have submitted the relevant notification to the Turkish Embassy in Athens, it was not initially accepted, so it was sent via other means, there is proof of receipt, and this gives us the right to appeal.”