US Ambassador: All islands have same rights as mainland Greece

The top US diplomat said the Turkish-Libyan memorandum was provocative

US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said all the islands have the same rights as the mainland of Greece, as defined by international maritime law, when asked about the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) during a discussion at the Delphi Economic Forum, which is being held online for the first time from June 9 to 12.

The US ambassador was also commented on the memorandum signed by Ankara with Tripoli, which may be published by the UN in the coming days, and replied that “the Turkey-Libya memorandum cannot take anything away from Greece”, while he called it “unhelpful” and “provocative”.

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Asked about the historic agreement signed by the Greek government with the Italy for the EEZ in the Ionian Sea, Mr. Pyatt said that this agreement is an “example that shows how these things should be done”.

The top US diplomat was also asked about the ongoing protests across the United States following the killing of George Floyd, and responded that in the United States there is freedom of speech and expression and people are free to protest. He stressed the progress made in recent decades, especially since the 1960s, recalling the African-American civil rights protests.

“We elected the first African-American president 12 years ago, it would have been unthinkable in 1964,” he said, adding that “American democracy is alive and well and will come out stronger from this experience.”

When asked about the energy market, he replied that “Russia was using energy as a weapon throughout Europe.”