Turkey has slammed a joint statement made by the foreign ministers of France, Egypt, Greek Cyprus, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates concerning its stance on Libya and the eastern Mediterranean Sea and accused them of seeking “regional chaos and instability.”
“The joint declaration of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, GCA [Greek Cypriot Administration], France and the UAE on the eastern Mediterranean and Libya is a case in point of the hypocrisy of a group of countries who are seeking regional chaos and instability through the policies they pursue and seeing no harm in sacrificing the democratic aspirations of the peoples to the callous aggression of putschist dictators, and which have fallen into a delirium, as their agendas are being disrupted by Turkey,” read a statement issued by Hami Aksoy, the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, late May 11.
Turkey’s statement came as a response to a joint declaration by the said countries that criticized the Turkish policies for continuing its drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean and pledging support to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.
The foreign ministers of these countries, except for the UAE, met in Cairo in early 2020 with the participation of the Italian foreign minister in a consultative framework and issued a similar declaration against Turkey. The Italian minister did not join the statement.
The Turkish statement against May 11 joint declaration of these nations has responded to each of these countries’ claims and specified its regional priorities.
“The fact that Greece and GCA [Greek Cypriot Administration], instead of engaging in dialogue with Turkey and TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] respectively on the Eastern Mediterranean, are relying on irrelevant non-regional actors, can only be the legacy of a mentality of mandate and colonialism,” Aksoy said.
“The distortion of the steps taken by Turkey in order to protect its legitimate interests based on international law, through unfair and unlawful pretexts, is unacceptable under any circumstances,” added the spokesperson.
UAE has no connection with east Med
The rulers of Egypt seem to have long preferred to renounce the interests and rights of its own people, rather than protecting them, he said, apparently referring to a disadvantageous bilateral maritime demarcation agreement Cairo had made with Greek Cyprus.
“As for the UAE, which has no connection whatsoever to the Eastern Mediterranean, it is no other than the animosity towards Turkey that unites it with the other countries. The track record of this country both against Turkey and Libya is self-evident,” Aksoy stressed.
The UAE supports Haftar forces in Libya at the expense of breaching U.N.-supported arms embargo. In a recent written statement, Turkey slammed both France and the UAE for their disruptive policies in Libya where Haftar’s attacks against the civilians have intensified. Turkey urged Haftar that his elements will be considered “legitimate targets” in case they target the Turkish diplomatic missions and interests in Libya.
Aksoy’s statement also responded to the French position. “It is apparent that France, whose intentions to establish a state of terror in Syria were disrupted with a heavy blow by our Operation Peace Spring, is attempting to be the patron of this axis of malice, in such a state of mind,” he stated, adding, “We call on all these countries to act with common sense, in accordance with international law and practices. Peace and stability in our region can only be achieved through genuine and realistic dialogue and cooperation rather than attempting to create axis of malice.”
N Cyprus slams joint declaration
The premier of the Turkish Cyprus on May 12also slammed the joint declaration dubbing Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean as “illegal”.
“Turkish Cypriots have as much rights as the Greeks in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said TRNC Prime Minister Ersin Tatar in a statement.
Tatar said that some parties heighten hostilities when their interests in the region are being hampered, but this was not a rightful approach.
Tatar described the joint declaration as “far from realism and cooperation, outdated and hostile”.
“What Greece and Greek Cypriot administration should do is get in guileless dialogue with Turkey and the TRNC,” he said.
“We will continue to walk on our right way with the support of motherland Turkey,” he added.
Hurriyet Daily News