The Greek Foreign Ministry responded to threats expressed by Turkey that it would consider Greece’s plans to extend its coastal zone in the west “casus belli”, saying that Greece had every right to exercise extend its territorial waters whenever and however it saw fit. The spokesman of the Greek Foreign Ministry, Alexander Gennimatas said:
“Greece has the right to extend its territorial waters whenever and it deems appropriate.”
It should be stressed that the statement by the representative of the Foreign Ministry was made public after a meeting with the Prime Minister, in his capacity as the new Foreign Minister.
The statement said that extending the country’s seashell zone constituted Greece’s inherent sovereign right, adding that this expansion applied across the whole country, including the Aegean Sea. Turkey disputes the right of Greece to extend its coastal zone to the west beyond the current 6 nautical miles.
The full statement reads as follows:
Extending territorial waters constitutes a legal and inalienable sovereign right of Greece, in accordance with International Law. The relevant decision for extension is solely for Greece to make, which has the right to extend its territorial waters whenever and in whatever manner it sees fit. This right applies consistently and shall not be challenged, nor shall it be up for negotiation with third parties. This applies to all Greek territory.
Arbitrary interpretations of International Law and threats of violence on the part of Turkey, as well as challenging the legal rights of our country, neither alters this fact nor contributes to good neighbourly relations.