Albanian Prime Minister: Greece has a right to extend territorial waters to 12 nautical miles

Greece Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama defended Greece’s right to extend its maritime sovereignty to 12 nautical miles in the Ionian Sea.

Immediately after the approval of the presidential decree, a political confrontation broke out in Albania with the opposition attacking the prime minister, accusing him of “secret talks” with Greece and retreating the rights of Albania.

Rama, who agreed with Athens to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to resolve the respective disputes between the two countries, accused his critics of being “ignorant” and throwing “nationalist folk mud.”

The Albanian Prime Minister said those who attacked him were trying to gain political benefits by accusing him of something that it was impossible to do behind closed doors in 21st century Europe.

As Rama said, “Greece has the right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles and this has nothing to do with the difference between Athens and Tirana.”

“Where the distance between the two countries is less than 12 nautical miles, the International Court of Justice will decide,” he added.

It is worth noting that Rama highlighted that in 1990, when Albania decided to extend its sovereignty to 12 nautical miles, Greece had not reacted, noting that even now Tirana has no reason to be involved in the decision made by Athens.

It is recalled that in October, Greece and Albania came to an agreement to refer the issue of maritime zones to the International Court of Justice in The Hague during a meeting between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and the Albanian Prime Minister.

Dendias pointed out in his statements after the meeting that “having thoroughly considered the issue, we agreed that Greece and Albania should jointly submit this issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

Meanwhile, the Presidential Decree on the closure of bays and the drawing of straight baselines in the Ionian Sea and Ionian Islands to Cape Tainaro in the Peloponnese entered into force after its publication in the Government Gazette.

This operation brings one step closer the completion of the process to extend the coastal zone to 12 nautical miles in the Ionian Sea.