Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed the intention of Greece to enter into a dialogue with Turkey under strict conditions and within the framework set by international law exclusively on the issue of the EEZ.
At the same time, the Greek Prime Minister clarified that if the dialogue ends in disagreement, then the case should be taken to the International Court of Justice in Hague.
“I have been very honest with Turkey and the international community, saying that if we cannot reach an agreement, let us go to Hague. To agree that this is our only difference, to set the parameters, to agree on what we agree and what we disagree with and to respect the decision of the Court. To respect the international law. I believe that this is a fair approach to the extent that we can not – if we can not – resolve our dispute directly between us”, he said in an online conversation with former US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns.
At the same time, Mr. Mitsotakis underlined the systematic, provocative behavior of Ankara that has undermined bilateral relations by making extensive references to the illegal Turkish-Libyan pact, flights of Turkish jet fighters on Greek islands, illegal surveys in the Cypriot EEZ, provocations with illegal immigrants at the Aegean sea and the Evros river as well as the two recent incidents: the illegal Turkish NAVTEX for survey within the Greek continental shelf and the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
“I have also made it clear to our European partners that if Turkey continues to take such actions, there must be consequences. There should be sanctions. So either the relationship will improve or -if Turkey continues to violate the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus- the EU has to react”, he added. He concluded by noting that “we do not want to isolate Turkey, but we have shown that we do not tolerate pressure, we react. We have the ability, the will, the national unity to react and support this policy. It is “a carrot and whip” approach, where the carrot and the whip must be used equally towards Turkey”.