Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined on Tuesday that he speaks the language of international law, the language of rationalism, truth and determination.
Tsipras, who addressed the officers of the Greek military force in Cyprusnat their campus in Malounta, where he went after his arrival to the island to attend the funeral of Cyprus’ former President Demetris Christofias, was responding to statements by Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan who said that the Greek PM “is speaking to himself when he says some things’.
The Greek PM noted in his speech that “this is a turbulent period for our region during which challenges have not ceased, instead have multiplied” adding that both Greece and Cyprus are at the centre of these developments.
He stressed that it is imperative to convey the message to everyone that “we proceed only in the framework of international law and whoever violates that, the sovereign rights of Greece and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, will face repercussions” and the price they will pay will be high.
Tsipras noted however that “we want peace and stability. We are a country that favours peace and dialogue. At the same time we are determined to defend our sovereign rights as we have learned to do so from our history.”
The Greek Premier further said that Greece supports Cyprus, its sovereign rights, its inalienable right to make use of the energy resources within its EEZ. “We will support Cyprus in exercising its sovereign rights”, he stressed.
Tsipras said it would be wise for Turkey to stop the violation of international law, otherwise, he added, the price for the EU-Turkish relations and for peace and stability and cooperation will be high.
The armed forces of Greece are powerful, reliable and ready to fulfill their mission, in the framework of the international law, he cautioned.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Last month Turkey issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. “Fatih” is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. “Yavuz”, a second Turkish drill ship is also en route, approaching the region.