Five countries condemn Turkey's illegal actions in Libya and Mediterranean

In a joint statement, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, France and the United Arab Emirates strongly condemned what they described as "Turkish military intervention in Libya" and Turkey's "illegal" moves in the Middle East.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and France on Monday held a meeting to discuss the latest developments of concern in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as a number of regional crises that threaten peace and stability in the region.

According to a joint statement published on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry website, the five ministers stressed "the strategic importance of strengthening and intensifying their political consultations, praising the outcome of the Cairo meeting on January 8, 2020 to enhance security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean," and expressed deep concern about the current escalation and ongoing provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean.

The ministers denounced "Turkey's illegal actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus and its territorial waters, which are represent in clear violation of international law in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea", considering it "the sixth attempt by Turkey in less than a year to conduct illegal exploration operations within the maritime areas of Cyprus."

The ministers also condemned "Turkey's escalating violations of Greek airspace, including over flights over populated areas and territorial waters in violation of international law," as well as "the systematic exploitation of civilians by Turkey, and the attempt to push them to cross the Greek land and sea border illegally."

They called on Turkey to "fully respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all states in their maritime areas in the eastern Mediterranean."

They considered the memorandum of understanding on the demarcation of maritime borders in the Mediterranean and the memorandum of understanding on security and military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli contrary to international law and the UN arms embargo on Libya, undermining the regional stability.

The ministers also condemned "Turkey's strong military intervention in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN arms embargo and stop the flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya, as this poses a threat to the stability of Libya's neighbors in Africa, as well as in Europe."

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