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Marine parks challenge Greek-Turkish relations

Greece’s Foreign Ministry affirmed its commitment to safeguarding its sovereign rights, while accusing Turkey of attempting to “politicize” an environmental conservation issue, that of marine parks to be established in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea.

Greece reaction comes after Turkey challenged on Tuesday Greek sovereign rights and criticized Athens plans to establish two marine parks in the Aegean Sea.

“The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s announcement politicizes a purely environmental issue,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The global challenge of environmental protection should raise awareness among governments and not be used to create impressions,” it added.

“The Greek government will continue to steadfastly support the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the country in line with foreign policy principles,” the ministry emphasized and added:

“Based on international law and, in particular, on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Greece is a contracting party. The practice of transactional diplomacy and the use of hybrid means for geopolitical benefits do not befit Greek foreign policy.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry commented on the government’s announcement of the creation of two extensive marine parks in the Aegean and the Ionian on the sidelines of the international ocean conference “Our Ocean” taking place next week in Athens.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke of “the status of certain islands and islets whose sovereignty has not been transferred to Greece by international agreements.”

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