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Samaras and Davutoğlu to meet on 5 December in Athens

10 November 2014 / 18:11:32  GRReporter
1854 reads

The Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey will meet in Athens on December 5, as reported by the Greek media. The meeting will be held within the programmed sitting of the Supreme Council for Cooperation between the two countries, which will take place in Athens on 5-6 December.

This will be the third meeting of the Council and it will take place in response to the rising tensions in the Mediterranean after the entry of a Turkish research ship in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.

The atmosphere is even tenser due to yesterday’s order of Turkey’s Naval Forces Commander Bülent Bostanoğlu, according to which "if Turkish ships intercept with Greek or Israeli warships in the Eastern Mediterranean they should react according to the rules for military intervention." He pointed out that the instructions had been submitted to the headquarters by the office of Turkey’s Prime Minister. According to the Greek media, they had been drawn up in 2012 following the tension between Turkey and Syria, and the Turkish military aircraft brought down by Damascus. "Every military object that reaches the borders of Turkey in a way that poses a risk to security will be defined as a threat and will be treated as a military target," Prime Minister at the time and current President of Turkey Recep Tagip Erdogan announced on 26 June 2012.

Ankara's reaction is provoked by the joint declaration that Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have adopted in Cairo to accelerate the negotiations on determining the maritime borders between them. The three governments have urged Turkey to cease attempts to explore for natural gas reserves the part of the Eastern Mediterranean that belongs to the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone. A summit between the three countries will take place next month.

Moreover, the tense atmosphere in the relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv is further complicated due to the strengthening of the cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Israel. A meeting of the secretaries of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the three countries will take place in Athens in a couple of days, which will prepare the organization of the summit at the end of January 2015.

According to the Greek media, Athens is following the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean with caution, avoiding taking hasty actions. Experienced diplomats say that a consistent process based on the Law of the Sea has been launched, which does not include actions against any third party.

The course of events is again bringing to the fore the issue of the Greek island of Kastelorizo. Ankara openly disputes the existence of shelf and an exclusive economic zone around it, because in this case the Greek Exclusive Economic Zone borders that of the Republic of Cyprus.
Meanwhile, in an interview with newspaper "Millet" Turkey’s Minister for European Affairs Volkan Bozkir states that the solution to the Cyprus issue does not depend on Ankara. "The solution can be provided neither by Turkey nor by the European Union and the European countries, which have allowed the Greek Cypriot leadership in South Cyprus to behave like a spoilt child."

"Greek Cypriots are the spoilt child of Europe. They have never been forced to deal with the consequences of their actions and therefore continue to behave in the same way," said Bozkir and called on the major European Union countries to assume their responsibilities. "Convince the Greek Cypriot rulers and do not let them proceed in this way."

According to the Turkish Minister, the events in Syria and Ukraine have diverted the attention of the United States from the Cyprus issue, not allowing the successful completion of the negotiations to resolve it.


Tags: PoliticsAntonis SamarasAhmet DavutogluSupreme Council for Cooperation between Greece and TurkeyEast MediterraneanIsraelCyprusCyprus issueKastelorizo
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