Greek maximalist maritime zone claims international law: Turkey
Greece’s maximalist claims to sea areas and airspace are contrary to international law, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Friday after Athens and Paris recently reached a defense deal.
“It is futile for Greece to hope that it will be able to make Turkey accept these demands, which are also questioned by the international community, through anti-Turkish military alliances, damaging the alliance of the NATO, “the ministry said in a written statement, referring to the Franco-Greek Agreement in which the two countries pledged to help each other in defense.
“The arming of Greece, the policies aimed at isolating and alienating Turkey, in fact, are problematic policies which will harm the EU, of which it is itself a member, and threaten regional peace and stability. . “
Earlier, Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said the Greco-French defense agreement also covered maritime jurisdiction.
France and Greece on Tuesday signed a multibillion-euro deal for Athens to buy three French warships, a deal hailed by President Emmanuel Macron as a major boost to the EU’s defense ambitions.
Macron said after meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Elysee Palace that Greece would buy the three frigates from France to cement a deeper “strategic partnership” between the two countries to defend their common interests in the Mediterranean. Greece, however, had said it did not intend to embark on an arms race with its neighbor and NATO ally, Turkey.
“Today is a historic day for Greece and France. We have decided to improve our bilateral defensive cooperation,” Mitsotakis said.
He said the deal involved “mutual support” and “joint action at all levels”, as well as an option to purchase a fourth frigate.
“Our two countries have developed a very powerful alliance that goes beyond our mutual obligations” as NATO allies, he said.
Macron added that the sale of frigates should not be seen as a threat against Ankara, but as a means of jointly ensuring security in the Mediterranean, as well as in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans.
Greece and France had already angered Ankara in January when they signed a 2.5 billion euros ($ 3 billion) deal for 18 Rafale jets, including 12 used and six new.
In September, Mitsotakis surprised many observers by considering purchasing six additional Rafales, bringing the total order to 24.
Greece has often been embroiled in tensions with neighboring Turkey over a range of issues, from competing claims over Aegean oil resources to the demilitarization of the islands.
Its burgeoning arms program is designed to counter Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, against which France is one of the few EU states to have offered public support in recent months.
The announcement of strengthening military ties with France comes after Defense Minister Hulusi Akar recently said second-hand French Rafale jets will not change the balance of power in the region.
“They have embarked on an arms race. They buy jets, weapons, equipment. You can’t change the power balance with a few used jets, ”Akar said.
Turkey has often stated that it expects neighboring Greece to adopt peaceful political solutions rather than aggressive ones.
The ministry continued to stress that these efforts will increase Turkey’s resolve to protect its rights and those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean.
Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, has sent drill ships with a military escort to explore the energy on its continental shelf. Ankara says it and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.