Turkish ships in South’s EEZ not illegal

The UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has said that Turkish ships entering [South] Cyprus’ EEZ were not breaking international law, ‘Famagusta Gazette’ reports.

Eide is quoted by the TAK news agency as saying, “Cyprus has sovereignty rights for specific economic activities within its EEZ, however, anyone including warships can enter the EEZ. There may be even 10 warships in a given area. It is true that you cannot establish a platform and make drilling within another county’s EEZ. However occupation is out of question. You can occupy a country or its territorial waters. The EEZ is not a part of territorial waters.”

Eide also called on all sides to turn natural gas into a real incentive rather than an impediment for a solution. In an interview with Greek Cypriot daily ‘Kathimerini, the envoy added:

“If the natural gas issue cannot be solved, tension will escalate, you will see more warships and no one ever knows what could happen in those situations. I don’t believe there is bad intention however you frighten those who want to invest in Cyprus.”

Eide pointed out that: “Hydrocarbons are natural riches which belong to the whole island and I believe that it will be under the jurisdiction of central government after unification.”

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