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Politics

Greece Moves to Extend Ionian Sea Limit to 12-Mile Mark

ATHENS – Greece's plan to extend its territorial limit from six to 12 miles offshore will start in the Ionian off the west coast, not in the Aegean or East Mediterranean where Turkey is claiming waters.

A decree signed by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou approving the extension was sent to the country's highest administrative court, the Council of State for a legal check before coming into force, said Kathimerini.

presidential decree foreseeing Greece’s extension of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea from 6 to 12 nautical miles has been submitted to the Council of State, That came following a visit by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Albania, the two countries agreeing their dispute over their maritime borders in the Ionian Sea could be settled by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. 

Greece wants to push its sea limits north of the island of Corfu, which had been disputed by Albania but the two sides said they wanted a diplomatic solution, unlike with Turkey which has sent an energy research vessel and warships off the Greek island of Kastellorizo within sight of Turkey's coast.

The agreement with Albania to let The Hague decide likely won't be taken up until after parliamentary elections in Albania in April but there's a problem in that Albanian President Ilir Meta must also approve as the signature of Prime Minister Edi Rama isn't enough under that country's laws.

Greece has indicated it could move to expand its seas limits in the Aegean and East Mediterranean as well which Turkey said could be a cause for war, with tension rising over Turkey's energy hunt plans that could be expanded off Rhodes and Crete. 

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