Turkey is “threatening and blackmailing to make us step back from our positions and this cannot be accepted”, said the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in an exclusive interview in protothema.gr.
“Greece indeed knows its limits”, Mr Dendias answers to Tayyip Erdogan, describing Turkey’s president as a “highly experienced political figure” who “knows very well that Greece can only but react to any attempt of violation of its rights”.
In the interview, the Foreign Minister described the right to self-defense as negotiable and warned Turkey not to attempt to violate the Greek continental shelf.
“We would be naive and dangerous for the country if we relied on third parties to defend our national sovereignty”, he said, noting that Greece “was and remains ready”.
“I really believe that Turkey understands that it is not in its interest to take a military step against our country”, is the message sent by the Foreign Minister to Ankara. A few days after the demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone with Italy, Mr. Dendias emphasizes that “the agreement makes Greece bigger”.
“Nothing has been lost, the big issue is the impact of the Ionian Islands as a whole”, he said, “the extent of the maritime boundary”. “The percentage exchange between the two sides of 0.0019% of the total area of the maritime zone that has been delimited”.
He reveals that in the past Greece lost the historic opportunity to demarcate maritime zones with Libya by 3.7% of the total area. “The fear of responsibility and the tactic of not signing anything so as not to be blamed for anything, are not good advisors in foreign policy”, he said.
The foreign minister explains that the negotiations to delimit maritime zones with Egypt “are not easy”, announcing that Athens will raise the issue of support to Cairo for the immigration problem in Brussels and confirms that “the model of what we agreed with Italy” is the objective of the negotiations.
Mr. Dendias also analyzes the Greek arguments for Kastelorizo, noting that the island “has the right to a continental shelf and EEZ regardless of its size”.
But the Greek Foreign Minister also spoke of issued that Greece could raise in light of a possible negotiation with Turkey, such as the occupation of the neighboring country – with few exceptions – “of only of the islands up to 3 nautical miles off its coasts”.