Dendias meets with Special Envoy Kerry: All our neighbours should sign the Law of the Sea

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All countries neighboring Greece ought to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Monday, at a meeting with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry in Athens.

Kerry is visiting Athens on the Our Ocean Conference that Greece will host in 2024.

"When the conference was held in Chile, Chile ratified the Convention," Dendias said. "Couldn't we then invite all our neighbours to ratify it? We should and we can protect our marine environment." Greece will use the opportunity of the conference to ask countries in the region to observe the rules of protecting the sea, he underlined.

The two officials also discussed boosting Greek-US cooperation on climate action and protecting the marine environment and the broader developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek Foreign Ministry posted on Twitter.

Turkey is guilty of infringing the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and in particular Article 121 thereof, which states that the exclusive economic zone of an island is determined in accordance with the provisions applicable to other land territory.

The EU and its Member States have ratified the Convention, which is recognised by the US as a codification of customary international law binding on all countries.

However, Turkey has still to sign it. At the Montego Bay Conference, Turkey attempted to argue that islands had no continental shelf or exclusive economic zone and that the latter should be determined only with reference to two mainland territories, a position that was formally rejected.

Turkey is now attempting to arbitrarily move its EEZ border up to that of Libya, effectively eliminating the Greek EEZ borders around Crete and the Dodecanese islands and those of Cyprus. That is a blatant infringement of international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.