Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Saturday hailed a new bill that will extend Greece’s western maritime boundaries to 12 miles offshore from six.
The bill, which will also stipulate that Greece reserves the right under international law to also extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in the rest of the country, was tabled in Parliament Friday. The parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense will begin debate on the bill on Tuesday, January 12; a second reading will take place on January 15 and the plenary session will take up the bill on January 19.
“The bill concerning the extension of [Greek] territorial waters in the Ionian Sea is a historic moment as the country exercises an inalienable right on the basis of international law and the international law of the sea,” Dendias tweeted.
The bill confirms Greece’s strategy to pursue agreements with neighboring countries, always on the basis of international law, promoting security and prosperity in the region,” he said.
Turkey has long said that an extension of Greek territorial waters to 12 miles in the Aegean Sea would be a cause for war, as it would make a passage on the Aegean impossible without crossing into Greek territory.