The upcoming plenary vote on the foreign ministry’s bill for determining the extent of territorial waters in the Ionian Sea is “a step towards the strengthening of our national arsenal”, pointed out Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, speaking in parliament on Tuesday evening.
Addressing MPs, the minister referred to outgoing US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, with whom the Greek government “cooperated brilliantly” during his tenure, and who was also “very positive” about Greece’s “fair stance” on certain issues, as shown in its maritime agreements with Italy and Egypt, as well as through Greece’s and Albania’s “mutual understanding” on how to proceed with their territorial own issue, he noted.
Dendias underlined that as far as the relaunch or the continuation of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey is concerned, it is imperative that Turkey pursues a “stable and reassuring de-escalation of tensions.”
Greece has always stood ready for a dialogue with Turkey, he added, but has also always put forth the same set of prerequisites to that effect: “to see a definitive stop of provocative actions in the Greek continental shelf and the departure of research vessel Oruc Reis from the area.”
Wrapping up, Dendias said that Greece “reserves the right to extend its territorial waters anywhere, anytime.”