Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent messages to both Turkey and the international community during a discussion with journalist John Defterios at the 5th International Euro-Arab Summit.
He stated that he was ready for a discussion aimed at resolving the problems in the context of international law, and stressed that if Turkey really wants to solve these problems, it will sit at the negotiating table, but as he said “I believe that Turkey does not want to play according to the rules.”
The Prime Minister clarified whether there is a prospect and whether he is willing in the future “to share [with Turkey] energy resources found.”
His response was that “this is not something we are discussing” and reiterated that first the maritime zones need to defined in a fair way.
“This is the first priority and it is not something we have managed to do for many decades. However, I would like to emphasize that our government has signed a demarcation agreement with Italy, we have signed a partial demarcation agreement with Egypt and we have agreed with Albania to appeal to the International Court of Justice and let the Court decide on the demarcation of our sea,” Mitsotakis said.
“We have shown that this problem can be solved if there is a commitment to international law and good neighborly relations. Honestly, I believe that Turkey does not want to play by the rules,” he continued.
“They continue their provocative behavior. And – as I said – the European Council has set a deadline. This is no longer an issue that affects our bilateral relations,” he said.
He added that Greece has made many efforts to reach an agreement with Turkey since he took office as Prime Minister, and denounced Turkey’s stance.
“In response, we received a series of particularly provocative actions, which challenged our sovereign rights, with unilateral research activities in areas that we consider the Greek Exclusive Economic Zone,” said Mitsotakis.
He also said that it was up to Turkey to choose “whether to decide whether it wants a constructive relationship with Europe or whether it wants a conflicting relationship” and warned Ankara that if it chose the latter “it should know that there will be consequences for it”.
“I think the Europeans have understood that this is not just a dispute between Greece and Turkey, or Cyprus and Turkey. Events in the Eastern Mediterranean are affecting Europe as a whole,” said Mitsotakis.