Cyprus reserves the right to respond to Turkish NAVTEX
The Republic of Cyprus will respond in an appropriate manner and in accordance with international law, in the event that Turkey implements actions in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), an announcement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement with reference to the navigational warning (NAVTEX) no. 410/17, dated April 19, 2017, which was issued by Turkey and which purports to reserve an area within the territorial sea, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Cyprus off the coast of Famagusta for the conduct of seismic surveys, between April 21 and June 30, 2017, by the survey vessel “BARBAROS HAYREDDIN PAŞA” and support vessel “BRAVO SUPPORTER”.
The Ministry emphasised that the NAVTEX “was issued by an incompetent authority and is, therefore, invalid”, noting the competence for the issuance of NAVTEX concerning the reservation of areas within the search and rescue region of Cyprus belongs to the Republic of Cyprus. “In this context, proper actions were taken in order to inform all interested parties in relation to the invalidity of the Turkish NAVTEX,” the statement added.
The seismic surveys within the “territorial sea, the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, the statement said, if materialised, would constitute a violation by Turkey of the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its maritime zones under international law, both conventional and customary, as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
The statement noted: “The Government of the Republic of Cyprus reserves its right to act in a way it deems appropriate, in accordance with international law, in the event that the aforementioned activities by Turkey take place.”