Greece has urged Turkey to immediately halt is illegal activities in the southern Aegean and East Mediterranean Sea. The Foreign Ministry in Athens issued a statement in which it lambastes Ankara for the “illegal” NAVTEX and the “illegal” seismic surveys south of the island of Megisti in the Greek continental shelf.
Athens speaks of a “serious escalation” that exposes “the destabilizing and threatening role of Turkey regarding peace in the region.”
It calls on Turkey to immediately withdraw the Oruc Reis and halt all activities that undermine and threaten peace in the region.
Tension in the region rose again on Monday morning after Turkey deployed the seismic vessel to conduct hydrocarbon exploration south of Greece’s islands.
“The new illegal Turkish Navtex for illegal investigations south of the island of Megisti on the Greek continental shelf, in combination with the observed wide mobility of units of the Turkish navy, is a new serious escalation and exposes in the most obvious way the destabilizing and threatening role of Turkey,” the statement stressed among others.
Turkey’s illegal actions come “at a time when Greece has demonstrated in practice its commitment to international legitimacy,” the statement continues.
“Based solely on International Law, International Maritime Law and Good Neighborliness Rules, it has reached an agreement after negotiations with neighboring countries, on the delimitation of its Exclusive Economic Zone. It has stated its readiness for dialogue, in order to proceed with corresponding demarcations with its other neighbors based on the International Law of the Sea,” it added.
The statement stressed that “Turkey, on the contrary, is proving in practice that statements of readiness for dialogue are sham. Citing the signing of a perfectly legal EEZ Agreement between Greece and Egypt, it abandons the dialogue before it even begins and resorts to the practices of past centuries, following the dead-end tactic of trying to create accomplishments.”
“Greece will not accept any blackmail. It will defend its sovereignty and it sovereign rights,” the Foreign Ministry underlines and calls on Turkey “to immediately end its illegal actions that undermine peace and security in the region.”