Greece ‘ready’ to talk with Turkey to resolve sea borders dispute

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Greece’s new Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis said on Tuesday that Athens is ‘ready’ to start talks with Turkey to resolve a long-standing dispute over maritime borders, AP News has reported.

Turkey disputes areas which Greece says fall within its own economic zone and where it’s seeking to start a search for offshore oil and gas reserves.

Gerapetritis said the Greek government wants to “take advantage of the ongoing positive climate” between Greece and Turkey in order to come to an agreement on delineating the areas in which each country has exclusive economic rights, including the right to search for offshore oil and gas.

“All that remains is to determine whether Turkey also sincerely wishes to forge a path of rapprochement, without this meaning that Greece will go back on its red lines or its national priorities,” he said.

Gerapetritis made the comments in Cyprus during his first official visit abroad as Foreign Minister.

In joint statements with his Cypriot counterpart Dr Constantinos Kombos, Gerapetritis also stressed that finding a “fair, viable and mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus issue” remains a top national foreign policy priority for Greece.

“An important goal is for Cyprus and the Cypriot people – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – to be rid of the Turkish occupation army and the anachronistic system of guarantees and rights of intervention by any party in Cypriot affairs,” Gerapetritis emphasised.

“The solution must be functional and grant the reunited Cyprus Republic the future it deserves. It must also ensure the unobstructed implementation of the European acquis throughout Cyprus’ territory.”

The Greek Foreign Minister said Greece will consistently support Cyprus in a resumption of efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue.

Source: AP News and AMNA.gr.

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