Greece and Egypt appear to be close to signing an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) deal.
“The agreement between Greece and Egypt on the definition of the EEZ is nearing completion,” Greek Ambassador to Cairo, Nikos Garilidis told Al-Ahram newspaper according to Greek media.
“We are close, very close,” noted the Greek ambassador.
At the same time, Garilidis emphasised that it is up to Turkey to continue the good relations with its neighbours.
“If Turkey abandoned its Ottoman ideas, then Greece could contribute to further economic co-operation,” he added.
Regarding Libya and the role that Turkey is trying to play, Garilidis argued that Turkey wants to play a dominant role in the region, but this cannot be accepted by many Mediterranean countries.
Finally he stressed that Turkey should enter into agreements, but on the basis of international law.
Greece is ready to discuss with Turkey the possibility of a delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) for the two countries, if the other party is willing, Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said last month, as reported by Greek City Times.
“If Turkey wants to make a deal similar to that (Greece did) with Italy, we are here to discuss it,” Hatzidakis tweeted.
“If it doesn’t, the Mitsotakis government has made its positions clear, both on (the) Evros (land border) and with the EastMed (pipeline). In no way will we leave our country defenceless,” he added.
General Konstantinos Floros, the head of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, said that Greece will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty.
The statement came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed that some of Greece’s islands do not have continental shelves that entitle them to an Exclusive Economic Zone. This contradicts international law like the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, in which Turkey is one of only 15 countries in the whole world to not recognise.
“We say that not every island can have a continental shelf. In particular, the islands that are far from the mainland and closer to Turkey cannot have a continental shelf,” Çavuşoğlu said during an interview on Turkish television.