Cavusoglu: Arms Embargo Resolution Does Not Invalidate Freedom of Navigation – Al Marsad

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that Europe’s Operation IRINI in the Mediterranean has been used recently as a tool against Turkey.

(Libya, 3 December 2020) – Mevlut Cavusoglu’s speech came during the fourth TRT World Forum 2020 “Shifting Dynamics: The International Order in a Post-Pandemic World” on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu added in a session titled “New Realities and Interstate Relations After COVID-19” that many parties are actively working to destabilize the region, and that his country plays a main role in standing up against these attempts.

He emphasized that Ankara’s primary objective was to protect its rights and those who described them as he added, “Turkish Cypriots” in the eastern Mediterranean, while Greece and Greek Cypriot are trying to impose a fait accompli through unilateral and maximalist approach.

“We often see how EU solidarity is misused to support the national agenda of these members (Greece and Cyprus)”. Recently the IRINI operation was used as a tool against Turkey. The operation on Nov. 22 gave the order to embark a Turkish flagged merchant ship without our preliminary consent. This was a clear violation of international law.” he added.

He explained that the crew members had been mistreated and harassed and at the end of the 11-hour search nothing had been found violating the arms embargo. “We strongly protest this illegal act. UN Security Council resolutions on the Libyan arms embargo do not overrule the freedom of navigation. We reserve our right to resort to every available legal and legitimate tool to respond,” said the Turkish Foreign Minister.

He stressed that the UN Security Council’s decisions on the arms embargo on Libya do not invalidate the freedom of navigation.

With regard to the dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean region, he expressed Ankara’s readiness for dialogue and cooperation.

He concluded by saying: “In every situation, we are ready for dialogue and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean. For this reason, we made a call for a regional Eastern Mediterranean conference with the participation of all coastal countries in the region, including the Turkish Cypriots.”

© Al-Marsad English (2020)