Diplomatic sources: Greece’s firm position the inalienable right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles

Greece’s firm position was and is the country’s inalienable right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles as is clearly provided by the International Law and specifically by UN’s Treaty on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), underlined diplomatic sources on Sunday.

Greek diplomats responded to articles in Turkish media that circulated on Saturday night suggesting that Greece had backed down from its right. This was sparked by comments made by Christos Rozakis,emeritus professor at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and former alternate foreign minister.

Beginning of the week and following new casus belli threats by Turkey, Rozakis told Greek state broadcaster ERT FM that Athens could discuss with Ankara the issue of territorial waters, despite the official position that the extension of Greece to the 12 nautical miles is an inalienable right.
He said that the scope of the coastal zone, the territorial waters, is the subject of dialogue.
Rozakis said that in a dialogue in good faith, “we should return to the previous positions of Turkey, which had accepted the 12 nautical miles for the mainland and the 6 nautical miles for the islands.”

“The only reasonable effort of Greece would be to discuss not 6 nautical miles for the islands, but some different range of 8 or 10 nautical miles,” he explained. He added that in the event of an agreement, no one can guarantee that Turkey will keep its word, but “we would have done everything we could to keep the peace.”

He noted that the agreement on the coastal zone is a precondition for starting the discussion on the continental shelf.

In this context, Turkish media reported that “Greece has quit its claim of 12 nautical miles,” (A-HABERTV) and “Greece has backed down on its demand to expand its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles,” (STARTV) kathimerini reported.