Ankara slams sea jurisdiction areas deal signed by Israel, Greek Cypriots as "null and void"
In a strongly worded statement released yesterday, the Foreign Ministry blasted a maritime border agreement between the Greek Cypriot administration and Israel, calling the deal "null and void" as it disregards the rights and jurisdiction of Turkish Cypriots on the island. The Exclusive Economic Zone Restriction Agreement signed between Tel Aviv and Greek Cyprus last week is aimed at facilitating the search for mineral deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean, where huge natural gas reserves have been discovered by a US firm. The Foreign Ministry said Turkey has no claims on the areas subject to the agreement, but that "Turkish Cypriots also have rights and jurisdiction over the maritime areas of the island of Cyprus ." Stating that negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus issue are currently continuing, the statement added that Greek Cyprus shouldn't unilaterally sign international agreements in the absence of a solution. The agreement isn't binding on Turkey, it said.