Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have denounced the Turkish provocations a hard tone statement after the summit between the leaders of the three countries ended in Cairo on Tuesday, October 8th.
The final joint statement urged an end to the provocative Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, including exploring for oil in Cyprus' territorial waters, which they called a breach of international law, Reuters reported.
In the statement, Cyprus, Greece, and Egypt "expressed their grave concern over the current escalation within the maritime areas of the eastern part of the Mediterranean, condemning the continuing Turkish actions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and its territorial waters, in violation of international law," according to Reuters.
Their joint statement was released after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo.
Al-Sisi spoke about the escalation and developments in the Middle East due to unilateral actions aimed at disturbing the stability of the countries in the region.
“We have emphasised that security and stability is a strategic priority for all and co-ordination is needed, and without it we cannot enjoy the fruits of the trilateral cooperation mechanism,” he said.
President Anastasiades briefed the Egyptian and Greek leaders on the issue and the efforts underway to resume negotiations. He said Turkey’s latest unacceptable actions and its intention to carry out exploratory drilling within internationally recognised and licensed blocks of the Republic of Cyprus are a blatant violation of the country’s sovereign rights and escalate regional tensions.
He added that cooperation in the energy sector is based on the fundamental principle that the discovery of hydrocarbons can and should act as a catalyst for wider regional cooperation, prosperity, and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean.
In July, Turkey said it rejected Greek and EU assertions that Turkish drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus was illegitimate, and said they showed the EU could not be an impartial mediator on the Cyprus problem.
The leaders also condemned the latest Turkish threats towards Syria.
“We express a deep concern about the escalation in Syria and the imminent Turkish military operation there, which is illegal and illegitimate. It’s important to work toward the unity of all the Syrian land and prevent any intended attempt to change the demographic of the Syrian territory,” the joint statement added.
The leaders also discussed the latest developments in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, expressing deep concern after talks reached a dead block, and urged the resumption of discussions to reach a fair agreement after eight years of negotiations.