Thursday, August 6, 2020

Greece Ready to Go to The Hague Court Only Over Maritime Zones Delineation With Turkey

Greece Ready to Go to The Hague Court Only Over Maritime Zones Delineation With Turkey
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the delineation of maritime zones and exclusive economic zone is the only disputed issue in relations with Turkey, adding that Athens is ready to settle this disagreement in the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

"I have always been very honest with Turks and the global community: look, if we cannot agree, let's go to the court, let's go to the Hague [Tribunal]. [We will] Agree that this is the one difference we have, set the parameters, agree on what we have agreed, agree on what we disagreed. We will respect the decision of the court because we respect international law. And I think it is a very fair approach to the extent that we cannot, if we cannot, resolve our differences directly", Mitsotakis said at the Aspen Security Forum 2020.

Mitsotakis said that Athens considered a controversial deal on maritime boundaries between Ankara and Libya's Tripoli-based government to be unlawful, as it violated Greece's sovereignty by not recognising the exclusive economic zone for the Greek Islands.

At the same time, the prime minister noted that he repeatedly told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Athens was ready to cooperate in settling the issue of the delineation of maritime zones, but did not receive a proper response from the Turkish side.

The authorities of Greece and Cyprus believe that Turkey’s plans to conduct oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean violate their sovereignty. The EU has repeatedly condemned the actions of Ankara. However, Turkey says it will not stop exploration and drilling off the shores of Cyprus. The EU has introduced personal sanctions against individuals and companies involved in the drilling, which include freezing assets and a ban on travel to EU member states.

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