Theresa Villiers, the Conservative north London MP, has described Turkey’s incursion into the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus as “unlawful and unacceptable”.
She was speaking at the House of Commons on Thursday morning.
She added that is was “shocking” that a NATO ally was responsible for this and stressed that the House of Commons needed “an opportunity to condemn these actions”.
The Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom praised Ms Villiers for raising such a “very serious issue” and urged her to raise it again during the foreign policy discussion in the House on the 14th of May.
Theresa Villiers and her fellow Barnet Conservative MP Matthew Offord have also written to Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, urging him to condemn the violation of the Cyprus EEZ by Turkey.
“I condemn this violation of the Cyprus EEZ and it is shocking that a NATO ally is responsible,” Theresa said following her intervention on the floor of the House of Commons.
“Only the Cyprus Government has the legal right to authorise drilling activities within its EEZ. Members of the British Cypriot community, including in my constituency, are deeply worried about this EEZ violation. That is why I raised it in Parliament.
“It will be impossible for talks on a settlement to resume while tensions are inflamed in this way by Turkey. This is further important reason why Turkey should cease this incursion and start to respect the sovereign right of Cyprus to safeguard its Exclusive Economic Zone.
“I and my colleague, Matthew Offord, are raising this with the Foreign Secretary to call on him to condemn what Turkey has done. Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, has also intervened.”
The letter to Mr Hunt notes that the Turkish actions are “unacceptable and contravene international law.”
It also highlights the negative consequences regarding the resumption of settlement talks, and the “huge dismay” felt by many members of the British Cypriot community.
The two MPs state that they strongly condemn the actions taken by Turkey and that they hope the Foreign Secretary will join others in calling for an immediate end to this incursion.