Dendias: Together We Made Greece Bigger

ATHENS — "Τogether we have made Greece bigger," Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated on Wednesday in an interview with SKAI TV, referring to the agreement for the delimitation of the maritime zones between Greece and Italy signed on Tuesday.

"Something that many people have attempted in the last four decades has now been accomplished. To expand your country and its rights and hand it down to the next generation is something exceptional," Dendias said.

He said that he will visit Egypt on June 18 with the aim of reaching a similar agreement, while Greece also wants to discuss the EEZ boundary with Albania, with which there was an agreement in 2009 that was annulled by the Albanian Constitutional Court.

Asked about the Turkish 'casus belli' threat, Dendias said that "there's no such thing as threat of war in the modern world".

Referring to the Turkish-Libyan agreement, he called it a fabrication, adding that an agreement with Egypt "would create a huge problem for its logical existence since it does not, in any case, have any legal existence, being null and void."

Dendias underlined that every country has a right to extend its territorial waters, and Greece can exercise this right whenever it wants.

He said that the scenario for Greece and Turkey to sit at the same table does not seem to exist at the current moment.

As he underlined, the issue of Turkish provocativeness will be discussed at the next EU Foreign Affairs Council at Greece's request.

"It is a shame for two neighbouring countries, which could create a sea of peace and cooperation, to be two countries that can't agree and Turkey is responsible for this," he said.

Dendias warned Turkey to stop putting new issues on the table, pointing out that Greece could do the same. For example, he noted that the Lausanne Treaty establishes the maximum outer limit of Turkey's sovereignty in terms of islands in the Aegean at three nautical miles. "There are some islands outside the three-mile limit that Turkey claims as its own," he pointed out.

On the issue of Hagia Sophia, he said that it is an ark for Christianity and for the Orthodox faith but also an ark "of the human spirit and its conquests," adding that "it is a huge benefit for Turkey that it lies within its territory".

Finally, regarding Evros, he said that Turkey's efforts to generate migration flows were a huge failure and a mistake which was fruitless and "forced Greece to build a fence, because we are not at all sure that Turkey will not attempt this again".


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