Greece is ready to extend its coastal boundaries in the west of the country from 6 to 12 nautical miles, announced newly resigned Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Saturday, during a ceremony to hand over his rank to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
“Our foreign policy is closing a significant issue of 120 years, it opens and realises a very important policy, the extension of our country’s sovereignty for the first time after 70 years. It will stretch from the Ionian Sea island Othonoi to Antikythera (northwest from Crete). It will expand to 12 miles from 6 miles for the first time since we got the Dodecanese (islands in the southeast Aegean Sea)," Kotzias said.
Kotzias resigned last week over a feud with the head of Syriza government’s coalition partner and Defence Minister, Panos Kammenos.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who accepted the diplomat’s resignation this week, said at the handing-over ceremony that his office would continue the work to expand the maritime border.
Turkey warned in 1995 that an attempt by Athens to expand its territorial sea beyond 6 nautical miles would authorise its government to declare a war on Greece.