ANKARA

Turkey slammed a defense agreement Saturday between France and the Greek Cypriot Administration.

The Greek Cypriot administration, which does not represent the entire island nor Turkish Cypriots, is not competent and authorized to make such an agreement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The agreement in question is against the 1960 Treaties and the equilibrium established by these Treaties. There is also a risk of disrupting the efforts to ensure stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the statement said.

Ir stressed that the Turkish side “in the past made constructive and positive suggestions for the region to become an area of prosperity and stability,” but the “proposals were rejected by the Greek-Greek Cypriot couple.”

“It is unacceptable for France to take steps to further increase the tension in the current period, to organize joint exercises with the Greek Cypriot Administration in this context and to deploy military aircraft here contrary to the 1960 Treaties, albeit temporarily,” the ministry said.

“We support the reaction and statements made by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) authorities on this issue.

“We invite France, Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, to act more responsibly on Cyprus-related issues that are on the UN agenda,” it added.

The agreement took effective Aug. 1 but was announced Saturday.

– Eastern Mediterranean

Earlier this week, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean region after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

The agreement came one day after Ankara said it would postpone oil and gas exploration as a goodwill gesture.

But after declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal “null and void,” Turkey authorized the Oruc Reis seismic research vessel to continue its activities in an area within the country’s continental shelf.

The ship will continue the two-week mission until Aug. 23 along with the Cengiz Han and Ataman ships.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the only solution to the dispute was dialogue and negotiations, and urged Athens to respect Turkey’s rights.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

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