Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias criticized Turkey for disputing the legal right of the Greek islands to have a continental shelf and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and denying the validity of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, during a lecture at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) in Oslo on Wednesday, prompting the attending Turkish ambassador to Norway to quickly respond that “all of these actions are in response to something you have been doing.”
What followed was a tense exchange where Dendias reminded the Turkish Ambassador that Turkey was a signatory to the UN Charter and threats of war are prohibited.
Turkey has been threatening Greece with war since 1995 “casus belli” if Athens exercises its legal right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles.
“The truth is that the difference between Greece and Turkey are solvable. Under one precondition: that Turkey comes to the 21st century. If Turkey stays in the 19th century, if Turkey stays in the way that Suleiman the Magnificent was conducting affairs by having the armadas around the Mediterranean, then this is a no go,” the Greek minister added.
Dendias spoke of Greece's alliances with countries in the Mediterranean region and Turkey's refusal to adhere to UNCLOS and to recognize Greece's right to extend its territorial waters, threatening Greece with war should it do so.
"Challenging the implementation of UNCLOS in the Eastern Mediterranean seriously affects peace and security in our region," Dendias noted.
Greece "actively promotes synergies and regional partnerships based on International Law and the International Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)" , Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said in a lecture at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo on Wednesday.
During his official visit to Norway, Dendias addressed the Institute on "Implementing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean as a case study".
Greece's position, he said, is that it is willing to negotiate the delimitation of the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone, "and, failing an agreement bilaterally, to submit our difference to the Court."
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