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Tsipras seeks broader political consent to extension of Greece’s territorial waters

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Alexis Tsipras is seeking broader political consent on the extension of Greece’s territorial waters from currently 6 to 12 miles from the coastline. In this sense, he decided to skip the option of Presidential decrees and seek approval of the Parliament.

According to original plans, as revealed by former Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, the extension would take place through presidential decrees. But Tsipras seems to be targeting a broader political consent and therefore will take the issue to the Parliament with a relevant legislation.

Greece’s relevant announcement last week triggered the anger of Turkey, although the plans initially refer to the Ionian Sea in the country’s West and not the Aegean Sea in the East. Following the announcement a war of words broke out between the two neighboring countries.

At a meeting in the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. Tsipras redistributed responsibilities among minister, alternate ministers and staff since assuming the foreign affairs portfolio following Nikos Kotzias’ resignation. 

Citing diplomatic sources, state-run news agency amna reports that Tsipras will be solely responsible for the departments related to Turkey, Cyprus and the Balkans.

The departments of United Nations and the NATO will be jointly assumed by Tsipras and Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos.

The meeting also focused on the extension of the territorial waters of Greece, starting at the Ionian Sea. Discussions focused on how briefings and talks with political parties would be carried out.

Tsipras decided that the ministry’s experts council should convene to weigh in on the issue.

He also gave directives on responses to the Turkish government on recent developments.

Other topics discussed included Greek-Turkish relations in general, Tsipras’ preparations for a visit to Turkey following an invitation by its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, relations with Albania and the US, and his upcoming visit to Russia.

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