Exercising sovereign rights the only way to defend them, says Tsipras


The only way for Greece to “defend its right” to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles from the current 6 nm is to “exercise it,” opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said on Friday, commenting on the fresh spike in tension with Turkey over maritime and energy rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“When there is such an intense contestation of your sovereign right, a de fact contestation with the possibility of [hydrocarbon] surveys within the 12 mile limit – that’s what the new Navtex says – there is only one way to defend that right, and that is to exercise it,” Tsipras told Real FM, referring to a navigational telex issued by Turkey earlier this week reserving an area of exploration south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

“Now is the time to exercise that right, starting south and east of Crete and, depending on developments, moving south to our islands in the Eastern Mediterranean, meaning Kasos, Karpathos, Rhodes and the Kastellorizo complex,” the former leftist prime minister added.