Dendias: Greece Will Do Whatever Necessary to Defend Its Sovereignty

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, left, shake hands with Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides before their meeting at Cyprus' main airport in the coastal town of Larnaca on Sunday, December 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Philippos Christou)

ATHENS – Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday expressed the hope the Turkey will stop isolating itself and will follow the rules of the international law and of the common sense.

On his trip on Sunday to Benghazi, the Foreign Minister said that “it referred to a meeting with one part, which clearly, from its statements, supports and supported the Greek positions”.

“Following the stance of the government of Tripoli, I believe it is obvious that the Greek side should have a clear picture over the rest of the institutional composition of which comprises today the puzzle in Libya and I refer to the parliament and to the chief of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar” Dendias said.

“The head of the Libyan Army believes, as we do, that these agreements (between Turkey and Libya) are invalid and non-existent” he noted adding that this is not only in Greece’s interest but also in the interest of Libya, of the Libyan people and of the safety and stability in the region’s interest”.

On the condition in Libya, he underlined that “Greece supports with all its powers and its diplomatic capital, the peace process.

Referring to the MOU between Turkey and Libya, the head of the Greek diplomacy clarified that Greece “does not say that there is an agreement that should be cancelled but that there is no valid agreement. This agreement is legally non-existent in the context of the law of Libya and in the framework of the law of the Treaties”.

“I believe that Turkey will not proceed with actions so provocative that will totally isolate it. In any case, Greece will do whatever necessary to defend its sovereignty and its sovereign rights” he said and reiterated “We can do it alone but we are not alone”.

On the possibility of recourse to Hague, Dendias said that, for the current moment, there is not on the table a Turkish proposal with a specific plan. “Of course we have the will to find a solution with Turkey but a solution in the framework of the international law which will also guarantee the peace and the stability in the region. If Turkey wants, it will find in Greece a very willing interlocutor” he added.

He characterised the signing for the EastMed pipeline that will take place on January 2 in Athens “of paramount importance for the Greek and for the European energy policy as well as for the Greek and European foreign policy”.

Dendias said that Italy will be absent from the signing because there is an issue regarding the endpoint of the pipeline for environmental reasons. Italy, in principle, is totally in favour and it was agreed that the part of the agreement concerning the three countries to be signed now and the Italian participation will come as an addition, as an adhesion to the agreement afterwards” he explained.

Finally, on the procedures for the designation of the Exclusive Economic Zones with Italy and Egypt, Dendias said that “the volition and the framework exist but we must resolve some technical details. I believe that the details that separate us are not such that we can’t bridge them”.