Tuesday September 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
33o C
20o 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)  
Venizelos meets American Jewish officials in New York
Trolley bus, metro services to be disrupted Tuesday, Wednesday
Jailed GD MP shown teaching kids how to give the Nazi salute [Video]
Defendants handed prison terms over Antipnoia stabbings
Programs target return of 21,000 jobless to work
Greece’s Manpower Organization (OAED) will activate two new employment subsidy programs for the private sector in the next few days, offering jobs to 21,620 unemployed individuals. The first...
Employment in commerce keeps sliding
Employment in commerce is continuing to drop, according to data presented on Monday by Vassilis Korkidis, the head of the renamed Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESE...
Inside Business
SOCCER
PAOK joins Olympiakos on top after win at Agrinio
Olympiakos spent just two nights alone on top of the Super League, as on Monday evening PAOK joined the champions on 10 points through its 1-0 victory at Panetolikos. The Thessaloniki giant ...
SOCCER
Reds beat Veria to claim league lead
Olympiakos thumped hitherto Super League leader Veria 3-0 on Saturday to go alone on top of the table for the first time after four rounds of games. Four days after putting three past Atleti...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
A painful curse
It was a curse and a painful one at that. It was a brutal act that brings shame on the person who committed it, on the party which he represents, on the Parliament, on Greece and on everythi...
EDITORIAL
Europe’s choice
Tuesday’s meeting between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin is of crucial importance. It’s hard to deny that Greece has come a long way. The ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Venizelos meets American Jewish officials in New York
2. Trolley bus, metro services to be disrupted Tuesday, Wednesday
3. Jailed GD MP shown teaching kids how to give the Nazi salute [Video]
4. Defendants handed prison terms over Antipnoia stabbings
5. Samaras to meet Merkel in Berlin for pivotal talks
6. Commission report highlights Erasmus student exchange benefits
more news
Today
This Week
1. Trolley bus, metro services to be disrupted Tuesday, Wednesday
2. Venizelos meets American Jewish officials in New York
3. Alexander the Great's tomb not at Amphipolis, says Culture Minister
4. Venizelos denies jihadis are being trained in Greece
5. Euro touches 14-month low before Draghi testimony
6. Civil servants' union calls new strike over evaluation
Today
This Week
1. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
6. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.