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In interview, envoy says Ankara’s plans to proceed

in-interview-envoy-says-ankara-s-plans-to-proceed

In an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini, Turkey’s Ambassador to Greece Burak Ozugergin indicated that Turkey will go ahead with exploratory drilling in areas within Greek continental shelf.

He said Ankara is open to discussions on maritime borders with Athens, stressing that a delimitation would have to be “just, equitable and peaceful.”

Asked whether permits will be issued to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation for research in areas outlined in the country’s agreement with the Tripoli-based Libyan government, Ozugergin did not mince his words.

“We say what we do, and we do what we say,” he said, adding that, “our messages at every level are always open and straightforward.”

Ozugergin said that Ankara had long warned Nicosia over its “unilateral line-drawing attempts in the Eastern Mediterranean,” claiming that this violates the rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

“No country can just sit quietly when others are weaving cobwebs which so obviously affect its rights and interests.”

The ambassador insisted that Ankara’s positions on maritime jurisdiction matters “always take into account basic principles of the Law of the Sea.”

“It is true that being a large country does not absolve you from your obligations in the context of international law,” he said.

"International law is for all countries, large or small, but international law in its entirety and in context – taking into account all relevant factors, not only those things that a first-year law student would know. That is why people spend years in law schools and that is why you never stop learning in the practice of law," the ambassador added..