Greece and Cyprus say Turkey behaving outside international law

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Cyprus and Greece Foreign Ministers said Turkey’s activities in the East Med and Aegean are counterproductive and taking Ankara outside international law.

Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias discussed in Athens recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We discussed Turkey’s illegal actions, which are not limited to Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone,” said Dendias.

“Turkey must understand that this behaviour is counterproductive and drives it into isolation,” he added

Christodoulides said they discussed the coordination of actions to tackle regional challenges amid a fluid environment where “certain states believe they can violate fundamental principles of the international law and sovereign rights of other states”.

“Greece and Cyprus have a clear approach and we are ready to play our part to help Europe to address the current challenges.”

He said it was important the EU “sends all the right and necessary messages to Turkey” over its violation of Cyprus waters where it has sent drillships.

The first discussion on EU targeted sanctions against Turkey for illegal activity inside Cyprus waters is scheduled for next week, in Brussels.

Dendias said the maritime and security memoranda of understanding signed between Ankara and the Tripoli-based government in Libya are “legally invalid” and have a destabilising effect for both Libya and the wider region.

Christodoulides said that a possible ceasefire in Libya will be a positive development noting that Turkey bears some of the responsibility for the situation in the country.

He and Dendias also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultations and Technical Cooperation between the two ministries.