EU leaders slam Turkey-Libya maritime deal as unlawful

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has welcomed EU leaders denouncing the Turkey-Libya maritime MoU as illegal and reaffirmed the same position over Ankara’s drilling activity in Cypriot waters.

Anastasiades expressed his “full appreciation” for the European Council (EUCO) conclusions on the collective response against Turkey’s illegal actions and violation of the sovereign rights of Cyprus and Greece”.

He added in a tweet on Friday: “The EU’s crystal-clear common position is that Turkey should fully respect international law and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea”.

A European Council statement recalled its previous conclusions on Turkey of 22 March and 20 June.

“It reconfirms its conclusions of 17-18 October concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.”

“The Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third States”.

The European Council said it “unequivocally reaffirms its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding these actions by Turkey.”

European Council President Charles Michel said: “We have expressed our full solidarity with Cyprus and Greece and consider it important in the future to continue to develop dialogue with this important country (Turkey).”

“We know that it is important for migration especially to maintain close cooperation, but we know that at the same time it is it is important to have a strategic vision in the short and medium-term of what we want from this important country for the future of Europe.”