NEWS

Foreign Ministry complains over Turkish breaches

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday lodged an official complaint with diplomats in Ankara after a Turkish warship tried to stop an Italian exploration vessel that had been charting the seabed between the islands of Karpathos and Kastelorizo with the aim of laying down fiberoptic cable linking Italy to Israel.

?The Italian vessel was harassed by a Turkish corvette in violation of the rules of international law,? spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras told a news briefing, adding that the ministry had lodged an official complaint about the incident with Ankara.

Delavekouras noted that the Italian ship had obtained permission from Greek authorities to study a possible route for an underwater fiberoptic cable from Italy to Israel.

The ministry in Athens also complained to Ankara yesterday over comments by Turkey?s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc as they appeared on the English-language website of the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

The agency had quoted Arinc as saying that negotiations between Athens and Ankara were focusing on several areas. ?We have lots of problems with Greece because of the islands in the Aegean, we have the issue of territorial waters, the Flight Information Region and other issues,? Arinc was quoted as saying. The report was amended following the intervention of the Greek Embassy in Ankara.

Delavekouras noted that talks between Greek and Turkish diplomats were focusing on the delineation of the continental shelf between Evros and Kastelorizo.