The agreement with Tirana for an appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, regarding the delimitation of maritime zones, will be ready after the April 25 elections in Albania, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has said.
In an interview with Kathimerini on Sunday Athens’ top diplomat said the expansion of territorial waters beyond the Ionian will be done when deemed appropriate.
Speaking in detail on the visit of PM Rama to Athens on Friday (January 8) he said they had a sincere cooperative relationship, already.
“I had the opportunity to talk extensively with him on all bilateral and regional issues, both during my visit to Tirana and during his visit to Athens the day before yesterday (Tuesday). On the issue of recourse to The Hague, the relevant technical teams are continuing their work. The goal is that the joint promise be signed and presented as soon as possible, I think after the parliamentary elections in Albania in April.”
In addition he noted all Albanian political forces agree that the issue of delimitation of maritime zones between the two countries should be resolved on the basis of International Maritime Law by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
“This is exactly what we are saying to our Turkish interlocutors. And it is especially useful to remember that Mr. Rama recognizes that Greece has the non-negotiable, unilateral right to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles. Albania did the same thing 30 years ago. And so no third country can oppose this right, or, I add, even more threaten war for this reason,” said the Greek diplomat.
Touching upon the imminent exploratory contacts with Ankara, FM Dendias said that Athens will have a constructive disposition, but stressed he is worried that Turkey is neither the country of the early 2000s that harbored European ambitions nor that which engaged in these talks in 2016.
“Of course, no one can decide a new change of course on its behalf,” he said
The FM stressed Greece’s commitment to making more diplomatic openings and strengthening its traditional relations.
To this end, he said is looking forward to meeting his new American counterpart, Antony Blinken, but also to the completion of the negotiations for a multi-year Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US.
“We closed pending issues that had been open for decades. We have signed three very important agreements. Two concerning the maritime zones with Italy and Egypt. A third which concerns pioneering cooperation in foreign policy and defense with the United Arab Emirates,” he said, adding that Greece is seeking to deepen cooperation with France and other countries.
“This week I will visit Italy and Portugal. Following is a visit to Belgium. And a little later the Baltic countries,” he noted, adding that a new framework for cooperation with the UK also being developed, while channels are being opened in Asia and Africa. /argumentum.al