Greece and Italy sign historic accord for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

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Greece and Italy signed an agreement on maritime boundaries on Tuesday during a visit by Italy’s foreign minister to Athens, the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

The agreement is an extension of a 1977 accord, paving the way for Greece and Italy to explore for and exploit marine resources.

“The delimitation of maritime zones with all of our neighbours in the context of international law is a consistent objective for this country,” Dendias said in comments after signing the agreement.

The deal follows months of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region over natural resources. Turkey, Greece and Cyprus have been caught in a complex diplomatic standoff over the issue.

In a regular press briefing earlier in the day, government spokesman Stelios Petsas hailed the agreement as “a development of historical significance.”

At a meeting in Rome in February, the two ministers discussed ways of cooperating in the energy sector in the eastern Mediterranean.

Italy and Greece are already partners in the EastMed gas pipeline project intended to transport 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year from off-shore gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean to Greece, Italy and other southeastern European countries.

The accord between the two countries comes months after a deal on maritime boundaries between Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based internationally recognised government. That agreement angered Greece, which views the move as infringing its own sovereign rights.

“The delimitation of maritime zones is accomplished with valid agreements, not with invalid ones like that signed by Turkey and [the Libyan government of Fayez] al-Sarraj and with maps unilaterally submitted to the United Nations,” Dendias said on Tuesday.

Sourced By: Reuters

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