The UK Labour Party has condemned Turkey’s actions in the area of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus as “wholly unacceptable”.

In a statement released on Friday evening to the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and its President Christos Karaolis, the major opposition party says: “The actions of Turkey in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone are wholly unacceptable. Preventing ships with legal permits from the Republic of Cyprus from reaching a gas exploration area with a warship is an unnecessary and irresponsible act of aggression that cannot be justified through economic or territorial interests.”

The statement also notes that the benefit of any exploitation in the EEZ must be for all Cypriots.

“The Labour Party is calling for negotiations to re-commence, so the island can be united again and all Cypriots are able to share in the economic potential of the EEZ,” it adds.

Returning to the issue of the Turkish actions in the Cypriot EEZ area, the Labour Party statement concludes: “With the EU-Turkey summit due to take place later this month, it is vital that Turkey withdraws any blockades from the Cyprus EEZ. This will ensure that the summit goes ahead to promote a positive relationship between Europe and Turkey in the interest of all citizens.”

The statement is signed by the Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament Fabian Hamilton, “on behalf of the Labour Party.”