Turkey’s views that the Greek islands do not have a continental shelf are unfounded, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in an interview with SKAI TV on Monday.
Dendias explained that the “alleged memoranda” signed by Turkey and Libya, one on maritime issues and one on military cooperation, lack legitimacy. He said that, as far as the memorandum of military cooperation is concerned, “it is very likely that Turkey will violate the Security Council’s embargo on arms shipments to Libya.”
He also noted that Fayez al-Sarraj, chairman of Libya’s Presidential Council, does not have the authority to sign. “It is also absolutely certain that this agreement will not on any account be accepted by the Libyan parliament, which is in Tobruk and has a president recognised by the United Nations,” Dendias said.
The foreign minister stressed that the Greek government had been aware of the relevant moves between Turkey and Libya and that he had briefed his French and Italian counterparts on July 15, during the first foreign ministers’ council, while at a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations in September, he had raised the issue with his Libyan counterpart.
“We were told that such discussions were, in fact, taking place, but he also admitted that it was problematic and could not be signed. Hence the Greek government’s reaction to the diplomatic representation of Libya,” Dendias said, adding that if the Libyan ambassador does not submit the agreement on Friday he will be declared persona non grata.
Concerning Sunday’s trip to Cairo and the decision to hasten the demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with Egypt, the foreign minister noted that staff-level teams will soon be getting to work on this.
“As part of our joint examination of the latest event, we have agreed to speed up these processes also. […] Greece seeks to establish EEZs with neighbouring countries. The problem areas are south and east,” he said.
“Turkey has an unorthodox school of international law. It does not help itself, its society, or its economic prospects when it appears as a country that transgresses international law,” Dendias noted. He also pointed out that Turkey’s actions at the expense of the Republic of Cyprus did not finally achieve much, while sanctions will soon begin to be imposed.
Concerning NATO’s attitude towards Greece and Turkey and a possible crisis, Dendias noted: “Greece must be able to face any crisis on its own. That said, it is desirable that it should have the Europeans and its allies outside Europe at its side.”
“I am not saying that I want [Greece] to stand alone, I am not saying that I wish [Greece] to be alone and I am not saying that I forecast that [Greece] will be alone. We are doing whatever we can precisely so that we will not be alone and it is precisely the fact that we are not alone that acts as a deterrent,” he underlined.
However, he commented that NATO is having difficulty in adopting a position among its members.