BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 P.M.) – In a joint statement, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, France, and the United Arab Emirates strongly condemned what it described as “Turkey’s military intervention in Libya” and Turkey’s ‘illegal’ movements in the Mediterranean.
The foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and France held on Monday the building of prior consultations and periodic coordination within the framework of the “3 + 1” formula, a remote meeting joined by their counterparts from the Emirates, to “discuss the latest developments of concern in the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to a number of regional crises that threaten peace and stability in that region. ”
The five ministers stressed, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting and published on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry website, “the strategic importance of strengthening and intensifying their political consultations, and praised the results of the Cairo meeting on January 8, 2020, to enhance security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and expressed their deep concern over the current escalation and provocative moves.” Continuing in the Eastern Mediterranean. ”
The five ministers condemned the “illegal Turkish moves taking place in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus and its territorial waters, for the apparent violation of international law in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” considering that it represented “the sixth attempt by Turkey, in less than a year, to conduct illegal excavations inside the maritime areas of Cyprus.”
The ministers also condemned “the escalation of violations by Turkey of the Greek airspace, including the flight over populated areas and territorial waters in violation of international law,” in addition to “the systematic exploitation of civilians by Turkey and the endeavor to push them towards crossing the Greek land and sea borders illegally.”
They demanded that Turkey “fully respect the sovereignty of all countries and their sovereign rights in their maritime areas in the eastern Mediterranean.”
They considered that the Memorandum of Understanding on the delineation of maritime borders in the Mediterranean and the Memorandum of Understanding on security and military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli contravened international law and the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Libya, and also undermined regional stability.
The ministers also strongly condemned Turkish military intervention in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN arms embargo and stop the flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya, as this poses a threat to the stability of neighboring countries in Africa as well as in Europe.