NICOSIA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus reacted strongly to Turkey's announcement that it will start a new natural gas drilling off the southern coast of Cyprus, calling Turkey a "pirate state" in a statement issued on Sunday by President Nicos Anastasiades.
Turkey "is turning into a pirate state in the eastern Mediterranean," the statement read, adding that the new drilling "constitutes yet another flagrant violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant customary international law."
Following the announcement by Turkish authorities that the drilling ship Yavuz is going to be dispatched for a new drilling operation, the European Union (EU) "recalls its position concerning Turkey's illegal drilling activities in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone," said a statement issued on Saturday by the spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security policy.
"Concrete steps towards creating an environment conducive to dialogue in good faith are needed. The intention by Turkey to launch further exploration and drilling activities in the wider region goes, regrettably, in the opposite direction," the EU statement noted.
"EU rejects Turkey's intention 2dispatch drilling ship 4 illegal activities in Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus. International law, principles of good neighbourly relationship must be respected, actions to the contrary undermine regional stability," tweeted Peter Stano, the lead spokesperson.
Responding to the EU statement, a spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry on Sunday urged the EU to "end its unrealistic, prejudiced and double standard policies."