Motion for a resolution - B8-0217/2014Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus

5.11.2014 - (2014/2921(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Ska Keller on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0211/2014

Procedure : 2014/2921(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, in particular that of 12 March 2014 on the 2013 progress report on Turkey[1],

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 23-24 October 2014,

–       having regard to the joint declaration of the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish-Cypriot leader, Derviş Eroğlu, confirming the aim of a state with single sovereignty and two constituent entities with defined powers separate from federal competences, which paved the way for the resumption of talks in February 2014 on a solution to the division of the island,

–       having regard to the statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of 23 October 2014 expressing concern over the stalled negotiations and the recent escalation of tensions between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the EU is deeply committed to the reunification of Cyprus in the framework of a federal bi-communal and bi-zonal state under UN parameters;

B.     whereas on 3 October 2014 Turkey issued a Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) directive ‘designating’ a large area within the southern part of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Cyprus for seismic surveys to be conducted by the Turkish scientific ship Barbaros from 20 October to 30 December 2014;

C.     whereas the Turkish General Staff announced that, as part of Operation Mediterranean Shield, the Turkish Naval Forces warship ksu had carried out the duty of ‘protecting and supporting’ the seismic exploration vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, which is carrying out operations under a ‘licence’ granted by the Turkish-Cypriot authorities in the occupied area of Cyprus to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO); whereas, according to the statement by the Turkish General Staff, the warship Zipkin continues to observe the SAIPEM 10000 drilling platform, which is operating in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, from a distance of nine kilometres;

D.     whereas this area is directly opposite the major port of the Republic of Cyprus in Limassol and smaller fishing and recreational ports between Larnaca and Limassol, with no proximity to Turkey itself, and is not within the areas Turkey illegally claims to be inside its own EEZ;

E.     whereas Turkey’s actions are taking place at a critical stage in the negotiating process, following the recent appointment of the new special adviser to the UN Secretary‑General, Espen Barth Eide, and a few days before the start of the new phase of substantive negotiations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots;

F.     whereas on 7 October 2014, following the deployment of Turkish warships in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led negotiations in protest against moves by Turkey to undermine his country’s right to exploit oil and gas reserves;

G.     whereas blocks within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus have already been awarded to international and European companies for the exploration and exploitation of possible hydrocarbon reserves in the seabed subsoil;

H.     whereas the question of the exploitation of natural resources should provide an opportunity for a further rapprochement between the parties and eventually become part of the negotiations in the context of a broad set of confidence-building measures aimed at sharing resources in a fair and equitable manner;

I.      whereas Turkish-Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu promised in a letter to the UN Secretary‑General that he would remain faithful to the agreements reached during the Talat-Christofias period;

J.      whereas on 21 September 2011 Turkey signed an agreement with Turkish-Cypriot leaders on the delimitation of the continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean; whereas the continental shelf is an area of maritime jurisdiction in which coastal states exercise sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting their natural resources in the seabed and subsoil;

K.     whereas the EU has ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is now an integral part of its acquis communautaire;

L.     whereas credible studies show that the reunification of the island could give a boost to the economy of Cyprus, benefiting both communities;

1.      Deplores the escalation of threats and unilateral action by Turkey against the Republic of Cyprus during the past few days in relation to the EEZ; underlines the fact that Ankara’s attitude directly threatens the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus;

2.      Stresses that this action constitutes a violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and of international law, including the UNCLOS;

3.      Calls on all parties to act responsibly and constructively during the current crisis; urges Turkey to withdraw its warships from the seas of Cyprus immediately with a view to defusing tension and clearing the way for the resumption of negotiations;

4.      Believes that the exploration of natural resources in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus is not in contradiction with, and does not undermine, the negotiations for the reunification of the island; points out, in this connection, that the eventual exploitation of oil and gas should be aimed at benefiting all Cypriots, regardless of the side they live on or belong to;

5.      Considers it regrettable that, at a time when the Greek-Cypriot negotiator had been advocating the adoption of bold confidence-building measures, Turkey has responded with aggressive provocations;

6.      Calls on Turkey to demonstrate genuine political will with a view to finding a comprehensive, sustainable settlement to the longstanding division of the island which will truly benefit all Cypriots; considers it regrettable, in this connection, that the proposed Greek-Cypriot package of confidence-building measures was rejected by the Turkish-Cypriot side;

7.      Urges Turkey to refrain from any provocation in direct violation of international law that may jeopardise the negotiations under the aegis of the UN;

8.      Considers it to be of the utmost importance that, in parallel to negotiations, further efforts be made to alleviate the isolation of the Turkish-Cypriot community; regrets, in this connection, the EU’s failure to deliver on its promises, and calls on the Commission to propose a new draft regulation allowing direct trade between the northern part of the island and other countries;

9.      Reminds Turkey that as a candidate country for EU accession it should act in line with EU values, avoiding actions hostile to any Member State;

10.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European External Action Service, the Council and the Commission, the President and Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus, the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community and the President, Government and Parliament of Turkey.