March 31, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

“Greek sovereignty over the islands is beyond doubt,” the EU said in a statement.

“Greek sovereignty over these islands is unquestionable,” the European Union said on Sunday, a day after the US State Department expressed the same position following Turkish provocations by the foreign minister.

“Greek sovereignty over these islands is beyond question. Turkey must respect him, refrain from provocative statements and actions in this regard, adhere unconditionally to good neighborly relations and work towards a peaceful settlement of any disputes. International agreements must be respected,” the spokesman said. EU Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Spano in a statement released on Sunday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments in a recent interview in which he disputed Greece’s sovereignty over some of its islands are counterproductive and contradict the de-escalation efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean envisaged in the European Council Conclusions of 23 March and 24-25 March. June 2021,” Spano added.

The statement was made following a telephone conversation between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell, Skai TV reported. It is also reported that the British Foreign Office issued a statement in favor of Greece.

On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged Greece to demilitarize the islands, warning that if Athens does not change its position, a debate will begin that calls into question its sovereignty.

Cavusoglu referred to the Lausanne Treaty, according to which, according to the Turkish side, Greece is prohibited from deploying military personnel on these islands. “We sent two letters to the UN. We sent them because Greece violates the demilitarization of the islands. These islands were transferred to Greece under the Lausanne* Treaty of 1923 and the Paris** Treaty of 1947, subject to their demilitarization. But Greece has been violating this regime since the 1960s,” he told state television channel TRT.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that none of the above agreements indicated such a thing.

Timely was the reaction of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which rejected the allegations, saying they “go beyond mere logic”. “We completely reject the latest allegations by Turkish officials regarding the status of the Aegean islands,” a spokesman for the ministry said. “These accusations not only do not comply with the basic principles of international law, but also go beyond simple logic. Greece’s position on this issue has been repeatedly and publicly expressed.

The spokesman added that Athens had sent a letter to the Secretary General from the Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN on this issue. Greece also rejected Ankara’s unilateral objections to the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean. The spokesman noted that these objections ignore “fundamental norms of international law and, in particular, international maritime law.”

* Lausanne treaty signed by Turkey, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania.

** Treaty of Paris signed by the Allies in World War II and Italy, ceding the Dodecanese islands in the eastern Aegean to Greece.

Related materials: Aegean question

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