Cyprus protests Turkey’s violations of its national airspace to the UN

The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Kornelios Korneliou has strongly protested the infringements of international air traffic regulations and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and the illegal use of closed ports by Turkish warships during the month of January 2017.

In a letter dated 23 February 2017, addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, he also protests the systematic use of the illegal airport in Turkish occupied Tympou village by Turkish commercial aircraft.

The letter- which includes two annexes that report analytically all Turkish violations – has been circulated as an official document of the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly under agenda item 41.

In addition, Ambassador Korneliou informs the Secretary General that the Turkish Cypriot occupation regime has illegally issued three notices to airmen, on 4, 10 and 26 January, relating to exercises conducted by the Turkish Air Force.

“More recently, the occupation regime has started interfering with radio frequencies, including distress and emergency frequencies, of the Republic of Cyprus, thus obstructing the smooth operation of the NAVTEX service that delivers navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information, to ships,” the letter reads.

The Cypriot Permanent Representative underlines that “Turkey’s actions clearly aim at undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, bolstering the continuing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status by claiming a purported airspace over the occupied territory of the Republic. Additionally, Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region (FIR) via radio calls.”

He adds that Nicosia FIR infringements and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus continue unabated.

“Turkey’s policy of persistently breaching international law and defying international rules and regulations puts the safety of international civil aviation at risk, has a negative impact on the stability of the region and causes difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus,” he points out.

Ambassador Korneliou underlines in his letter to the Secretary General that the continuation of Turkey’s illegal actions creates tension during a critical period for the successful outcome of the ongoing negotiation process for a peaceful comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

“On behalf of my Government, I strongly protest against the continuing infringements of international air traffic regulations and the violations of the national airspace and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and appeal for their immediate cessation. The Republic of Cyprus reiterates, in this respect, its call for adherence to the principle of sovereignty and non-interference enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations”, the letter says.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Ankara does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and supports, financially, politically and otherwise, the self-styled regime in northern occupied Cyprus, which the UN have described as “legally invalid” and called on all states not to recognise or facilitate the Turkish Cypriot regime.

The latest round of UN-led peace talks, which started in May 2015, is underway between the leaders of the island’s two communities with a view to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source CNA
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