Greece’s Prime Minister reiterated a call for bilateral talks with Turkey on the delimitation of maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, adding that if these don’t work, they should refer the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
“I have been very honest with Turkey and the international community, saying that if we cannot reach an agreement, let us go to the Hague Tribunal,” he told Nicholas Burns, Harvard Professor and Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, during a digital talk on Wednesday.
Mitsotakis said the two sides should agree that the maritime zones is the only issue between Greece and Turkey, set the parameters and respect the decision of the Court.
“I believe that this is a fair approach to the extent that we cannot – if we cannot – resolve our dispute directly between us,” he added.
Asked by Burns how Greece handles its relationship with Turkey, Mitsotakis said he wants to “restart” it.
He mentioned the tensions caused by the Turkish-Libyan maritime zone deal, the Turkish overflights in the Aegean, the planned seismic research inside the Cypriot exclusive economic zone, the migrant push in the Evros border region, the recent Navtexes issued for exploration within the Greek continental shelf and the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
“We don’t want to isolate Turkey. I want to engage with Turks when it comes to migration… but we cannot work under the constant threat that they will open the flood gates to put pressure on us,” he said.
Mitsotakis was speaking at the 2020 digital Aspen Security Forum held from August 4 to 6.