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Monday, 26 February 2018

Cyprus lodges formal complaint against Turkey with the UN

Cyprus has lodged a formal protest with the UN against what it calls repeated “Turkish violations” of its airspace and maritime territory, Cyprus Mail reports. “Turkey’s actions are clearly aimed at undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus…Additionally, Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region via radio calls,” the country said in a letter to the UN Secretary General on Friday. The move comes after the Turkish military blocked drilling efforts in Cyprus’ portion of the Economic Exclusion Zone for a second time, deeming it illegal. As we noted yesterday, Turkey’s aggression did not go unnoticed, with both senior EU and US officials expressing support for Cyprus and calling on Turkey to back off. The move comes just as Egypt and Cyprus near an agreement on establishing a natural gas pipeline, which could well turn Egypt into the export hub for East Mediterranean gas.

Some in Cyprus are hoping diplomacy might work with a brick wall: While the Cypriot government isn’t taking any chances with the unstable Erdogan regime, others, including Charles Ellinas, believe this is merely Turkish power projection. It is possible that once Turkey feels it has made its point after blocking drilling in Cypriot waters, it may back off provided that drilling in ‘disputed’ areas is avoided, he writes in Cyprus Mail.

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