Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos signalled to Turkey during a speech, that Greece has the right to extend its territorial waters if it chooses to do so.
The comments come after Turkish threats for war if Greece did extend its maritime borders, and were made during a ceremony where the Pavlopoulos was declared an honorary citizen of the municipality of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni.
He noted that the basis of friendship and good neighbourly relations, as well as of a country’s European perspective, was the full and faithful compliance with the entire body of international and European law.
The President added that, contrary to Turkish claims, there are no questions or gray areas with regard to Greece’s borders – including the maritime borders – with any neighbouring countries and, consequently, also with Turkey. In this context, he underlined that Greece has the inalienable right to extend its territorial waters, whenever it deems it appropriate and in the institutional manner it deems appropriate.
He also referred to European Law, pointing out that it offers adequate protection of the borders and the territory of our country, as well as the European legislation for the “NATURA 2000 Network”, which concerns the precise definition of protected ecosystems within the European Union.
On the Cyprus issue, he stressed that it is an international and, above all, a European issue, adding that “we are seeking, as soon as possible, a just and viable solution.”
With regard to FYROM, he reiterated that Greece seeks “friendly, good-neighbourly relations and we have proved that we are in favour of its NATO and EU prospects.”
However, he pointed out, this was attached to an important prerequisite: solving the name issue in accordance with history and international law.