NEWS

Greece freezes dialog with Turkey on CBMs due to tensions

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Defense, Turkey

Athens has decided to postpone indefinitely upcoming talks with Ankara on confidence-building measures (CBMs) at a military level, following a deal signed between Turkey and Libya on maritime borders which disregards Crete and further Turkish claims in the Aegean.

The talks were scheduled to start in Athens later in December.

Greece's Defense Ministry reportedly views the upcoming meeting as pointless until Ankara tones down its rhetoric and approaches dialog with Athens in a more positive manner.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry claimed on Monday that Greek islands “cannot generate a maritime jurisdiction area.” The statement followed Greece and Egypt's denouncement of the accord.

In the same vein, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy, said the islands which lie on the opposite side of the median line between two mainlands “cannot create maritime jurisdiction areas beyond their territorial waters and that the length and direction of the coasts should be taken into account in delineating maritime jurisdiction areas.”

Moreover, a Turkish diplomat posted a map on Monday showing what he claimed to be the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean which ignores the continental shelf of the islands, and disregarding the presence of Crete.

In a recent report, Kathimerini had revealed that Athens was already sceptical about CBM dialog due to efforts by Ankara to include migration in bilateral talks.

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