Turkey’s refusal to allow an Italian gas drill ship to enter the Republic of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been condemned as a flagrant violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states, as well as the conventional and customary Law of the Sea.

Last Friday, the Turkish military prevented the Italian-registered Siam 12000 – a floating rig from the company, ENI – from heading towards Block 3 of the EEZ inside Cypriot waters.

The EU has since warned Turkey “the need to respect the sovereignty of member states over their territorial sea and airspace”.

However, GUE/NGL urges the international community, and in particular the UN and the European Union, to take decisive action against Ankara and to put a stop to its illegal action that continue to stoke tension in the sensitive Eastern Mediterranean region.

Turkey’s latest violation reaffirms our belief that the most effective way for the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its sovereign rights to the natural resources within its EEZ is for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

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