Greece blasts Turkey’s ‘delinquent’ behaviour in Eastern Med

Athens and Rome ratify deal over maritime boundaries

This handout photograph released by the Turkish Defence Ministry on August 12, 2020, shows Turkish seismic research vessel 'Oruc Reis' (C) as it is escorted by Turkish Naval ships in the Mediterranean Sea, off Antalya on August 10, 2020.  Greece on August 11, demanded that Turkey withdraw a research ship at the heart of their growing dispute over maritime rights and warned it would defend its sovereignty, calling for an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers to resolve the crisis. Tensions were stoked August 10, when Ankara dispatched the research ship Oruc Reis accompanied by Turkish naval vessels off the Greek island of Kastellorizo in the eastern Mediterranean.
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Greece has accused Turkey of “delinquent” behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean, as Athens and Rome ratified a deal that delimitates their maritime boundaries.

Speaking in Rome alongside his Italian counterpart, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said respecting international maritime law would bolster regional stability.

He used the opportunity to renew Greece’s strong criticism of its neighbour Turkey, with which it is at odds over disputed maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean and the status of the divided island Cyprus.

“I informed [Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio] that Turkey, unfortunately, continues its delinquent behaviour in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, ignoring fundamental principles of international law and continuing to make threats against Greece,” Mr Dendias said.

“Greece is always open to boosting multilateral co-operation on this basis. Unfortunately, we are still far from realising this prospect.”

He said it was Greece and Italy’s “common will” for all Mediterranean countries to respect international maritime law.

Turkey invaded the northern half of Cyprus in 1974 after a brief, Greece-back coup.

The island has remained split ever since, with Turkey the only country to back the Turkish Cypriot administration in the north. The Greek Cypriot government is recognised by the rest of the international community, which backs a federal solution to the crisis.

Turkey and the unrecognised administration in the north support a two-state future.

“Threats are also being made against the Republic of Cyprus. I explained that this does not only concern Greece and Cyprus, it concerns our family as a whole, the European Union, and of course Italy, a very important and large country in the Mediterranean,” Mr Dendias said.

Updated: November 8th 2021, 4:55 PM
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