Greece ready to ‘openly discuss’ maritime zones delimitation with Turkey, Mitsotakis says

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has confirmed his readiness to discuss maritime zones delimitation with Ankara, speaking on Thursday during an online discussion at the Delphi Economic Forum.

Relations between the two countries have been strained by border tensions and Turkey’s oil and gas exploration plans in the Mediterranean.

In the latest standoff, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation announced plans to receive drilling rights in areas considered by Greece to be a part of its continental shelf and Athens slammed the move.

“We are always open for dialogue with Turkey, among the problems on the negotiation table are the delimitation of our maritime zones,” Mitsotakis said Thursday.

“We can discuss openly, and if we finally agree that we have differences, there are always ways to refer the issue to the International Court in The Hague by common agreement on how we can solve this problem, but always with absolute respect for international law”.

The minister added that the relationship between Athens and Ankara was complex.

“Turkey in recent months has been extremely provocative in its activities, especially with regard to the signing of an agreement with Libya on the delimitation of maritime zones, which we consider to be absolutely invalid, not having any power. Just look at the map to understand why this agreement makes no sense, not in the least”, Mitsotakis noted.

Mitsotakis continued by saying that Greece’s relationship with Turkey is, “not just a Greek-Turkish problem, it’s an EU-Turkey problem.”

Read More: Greek Foreign Minister asserts ‘borders don’t change’ following Evros border claims by Turkey

“Greece is a member of the European Union, our security concerns are also the security concerns of the Union, when we are guarding our borders, when we are protecting our borders, we are protecting the borders of the EU,” he said.

“If Turkey is thinking about violating the sovereign rights of the Hellenic Republic, not only will it get a response from Greece, I am pretty sure it will get a response from Europe.”

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