UK: We recognise Cyprus’ sovereign rights over its EEZ

UK: We recognise Cyprus’ sovereign rights over its EEZ

The UK government is “concerned by the continued tensions in the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” British Minister for Europe David Lidington has stated in a letter addressed to the Labour MP Sir Alan Meale.

“We have publicly stated that we recognise the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights to exploit mineral reserves in its EEZ, and it remains our position that such resources should be exploited for the benefit of all the communities in Cyprus,” adds the Foreign Office official.

The letter, dated 13 February 2015, is a response to a previous letter by the long-standing friend of Cyprus Labour MP, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Sir Alan was raising the issue of Turkey not complying with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights regarding missing persons in Cyprus.

Mr Lidington states that the UK supports the work of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in supervising Turkey’s implementation of the European Court of Human Rights judgments. In 2013 the Committee of Ministers called on the Turkish authorities to continue providing the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) with all relevant information and to continue and intensify their efforts aimed at rapidly giving access to all relevant places.

The British minister notes that the supervision of the judgments implementation by Turkey is a matter for the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in which the UK plays a role as a member-state. The case, he adds, is reviewed at each of the implementation meetings.

He also outlines the ways, financial and other, in which the UK has been supporting the CMP.

With regard to the failure by Turkey to pay just satisfaction to the missing persons’ relatives, Mr Lidington conveys the concern of the UK, which has expressed its dissatisfaction in the Committee of Ministers.

As far as the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ and the Turkish violations are concerned, the Minister for Europe reiterates that London continues to strongly support the UN-facilitated efforts through the work of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General for a comprehensive settlement, which is “the most effective way to address the root cause if this issue.”

“We are encouraging all concerned to work actively and constructively with the UK so that settlement talks can resume quickly, and proceed successfully,” concludes the letter sent by the Minister for Europe to Sir Alan Meale.