FM: Greece has presented a demarche over Turkish navtex

The Greek foreign ministry has presented a demarche over the new Turkish Navtex for research of the Turkish oceanographic vessel Cesme in the Aegean, foreign ministry spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou said during a regular press briefing on Thursday.

Specifically, he said that a demarche has already been presented by the Greek Embassy in Ankara, and will be followed by a
written note verbale.

He also pointed out that “the Navtex is unlawful as the Izmir station does not have jurisdiction to issue a Navtex for this area,” and he characterised the Turkish move as “needless”.

Papaioannou noted that Greece has already submitted proposed dates for exploratory talks in the first week of March and is waiting for the Turkish side’s reply.

Regarding the informal five-party meeting on the Cyprus issue, the spokesperson said that no date has yet been set but it will probably be after the European Council in March, possibly in April.

Asked about the discussion on renewing the EU-Turkey Joint Statement, he said that an update could not be discussed when the existing provisions of the 2016 statement were not being honoured.

“Turkey has undertaken specific obligations, such as to accept returns, guard the borders and not allow the creation of new illegal migration routes. It has a lot of room for improving its stance with respect to the obligations it already has. For this reason, Greece does not consider that there can be any talk of revising or renewing the Joint Statement,” Papaioannou said.