Thursday November 27, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greek and Turkish FMs see possibility of Aegean settlement but via different routes

The foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey told Sunday’s Kathimerini in separate interviews that they are hopeful the two countries can resolve their differences in the Aegean, although Athens is using international law as its guideline for the creation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), while Ankara wants there to be a bilateral agreement.

Speaking after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras traveled to Turkey last week for talks with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a meeting of the Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Ahmet Davutoglu were upbeat on the prospects of the two countries finding a way to delineate their continental shelves ahead of gas and oil exploration.

“We are in discussions and searching for common ground because both sides understand how great the benefit would be if we are able to delineate the continental shelf between us from Evros to Kastellorizo,” said Avramopoulos.

“We have some different views and approaches to how the exclusive economic zone or other sensitive issues are defined,» Davutoglu told Kathimerini. “We know there are differences of opinion. The important thing is whether we will let these be an obstacle, like a Berlin Wall, which is not sustainable, logical or ethical.”

Turkey argues that Greek islands close to its coast should not be taken into account when determining the economic zone and that the median line of the Aegean should be set as a boundary. Greece claims the Law of the Sea means that all islands must be taken into account when setting out the EEZ.

“We are operating based on our planning and strategy, with the framework of our sovereign rights as derived from international law,» said Avramopoulos. “Nobody should doubt our willingness and determination to defend this. International law is our gospel.”

“Of course international law and national sovereignty form the backbone of these negotiations but... the best way to solve these problems is through bilateral dialogue because the Aegean is a particular case with thousands of islands and at the same time is part of the wider Mediterranean,” said Davutoglu.

“Turkey has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean,” he added. “Nobody can expect Turkey to remain landlocked due to certain measures. We can find a solution whereby all these islands and Turkey’s interests as the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean can be taken into account. These are not conflicting positions.”

Greece recently sent a diplomatic note to the United Nations complaining that Turkey had issued permits to a state-run company to search for gas and oil in areas covering the Greek continental shelf. Avramopoulos was adamant that Athens would resist any attempts by Turkey to go ahead with such plans.

“It has been proven that unilateral moves, which are outside of the framework of international law, do not help and should be avoided,” he said. “We will not accept actions that challenge our sovereign rights. Such a development would have serious consequences for our bilateral relations at a time when both sides are trying to create a basis for cooperation in many areas.”

Davutoglu indicated that Ankara had no intention of causing rifts with Greece or of taking advantage of any weaknesses caused by its economic crisis.

“We want to see a strong, stable and prosperous neighbor next to us. Some extremists in Greece or Turkey may think this is a zero-sum game but I can assure you that it is quite the opposite,” he said.

“In the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s, this mentality existed but things have changed now. Young Greeks watch Turkish soap operas and Turks go to Greek islands for holidays,” added the Turkish foreign minister.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday March 9, 2013 (17:25)  
Seven PASOK MPs voice support for party leader
New law could transfer control of unused buildings
Independent Greeks MP claims bribe attempt
Greek FM starts 3-day trip to Turkey on Saturday
Wednesday’s stock gains wiped out on Thursday
All of Wednesday’s stock gains evaporated during Thursday’s trading session in Athens as uncertainty regarding the country’s political and fiscal future overshadowed the positive corporate r...
Lower provisions and energy costs boost Greece´s PPC Q3 profit
Greece's dominant power utility PPC on Thursday reported a 29.7 percent rise in third-quarter core profit, helped by lower provisions for past due electricity bills and softer energy costs. ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Atletico drubs Olympiakos 4-0, leaving Reds with slim chances of CL qualification
Atletico Madrid avenged its 3-2 defeat in Piraeus in September with a 4-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday, meaning the Greek champion only has mathematical hopes left for a spot in the next...
SOCCER
Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
Greek champion Olympiakos faces a tough task if it is to prevent last season's beaten finalist Atletico Madrid sealing its passage into the last 16 of the Champions League at the Vicente Cal...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Scraping together the 180 MPs will not be enough
Even if the coalition government was to scrape together the 180-MP majority it needs to elect a new President in the 300-seat House, skeptics say, what will change really? There is one evide...
EDITORIAL
Taking back what’s stolen
A large group of public prosecutors and state officials (coming from various departments) have been working on major corruption cases. Of course it is their duty to do so, yet their actions ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Seven PASOK MPs voice support for party leader
2. New law could transfer control of unused buildings
3. Independent Greeks MP claims bribe attempt
4. Greek FM starts 3-day trip to Turkey on Saturday
5. Wednesday’s stock gains wiped out on Thursday
6. Aristotle University professor apologizes for ‘fascist’ comment
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
2. Greek diplomat dies in fall under Thai train
3. Chief suspect in Piraeus bar shooting arrested
4. Greece scrambles to find food, shelter for 700 migrants on crippled ship
5. Scraping together the 180 MPs will not be enough
6. Troika talks to continue after failure to wrap up negotiations in Paris
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
4. Extremism from a bygone era
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. Cosco’s Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.