Ankara warns foreign ambassadors in Cuprus


eKathimerini — The Turkish foreign ministry is warning foreign diplomats in the Republic of Cyprus not to overstep their authority, following comments by Israeli and Egyptian ambassadors in Nicosia during a conference last week.

On Monday, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy accused the Republic of Cyprus of “disregarding the inalienable rights of Turkish Cypriots to natural resources.”

The statement came one week following remarks by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who last week twitted  “Greek Cypriots must stop acting like the sole owners of Cyprus. The fact that both sides on the island are politically equal will never change”

“The remarks made by some Ambassadors during a recent conference in the Greek Cypriot Administration, in support of the unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities being conducted by the Greek Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean, are unwarranted,” Aksoy said, adding
that his country would “recommend to the representatives of the relevant countries that they do not exceed their authority.”

According to Turkish media, the statement was a direct reference to the Israeli, Egyptian, and US ambassadors in Nicosia, who attended the Diaspora conference between July 25 and 27.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, addressed the conference where foreign ambassadors also took part in a roundtable discussion, offering their remarks on natural gas exploration in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Israeli ambassador to Nicosia Sammy Ravel, according to CNA News Agency, told the audience that he “hoped military force would not be necessary against Turkish provocations.”

Egyptian ambassador Mai Taha Mohammed Khalil also spoke on the issue, saying “we hope we don’t reach the point where we will have to use the military in the area,” while adding “we will provide any possible assistance to Cyprus.”

US Ambassador Kathleen Doherty also reiterated the US position on natural gas exploratory drilling and the rights of the Republic of Cyprus, saying that the former US secretary of state had gone to Ankara and told his counterpart that “Turkey’s behaviour was unacceptable.”