ATHENS – Dismissing a Turkish-Libyan deal dividing up the seas between them, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece won’t let any drilling be done in the country’s waters.
Talking to Parliament, he told Turkey to back off its aggression, with the world not accepting the agreement with a rogue element of Libya’s split government that the European Union said was unlawful.
Turkey disputes the maritime boundaries with Greece and warned it would be a cause for war if Greece tries to double the limits to 12 miles, adding further to the growing tension between them.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said he would again send energy research vessels around Greek islands to look for oil and gas, including the biggest, Crete, as well as Kastellorizo.
In a report, The Voice of America noted Mitsotakis’ hard line stance to defend Greece’s sovereignty and his building alliances with countries, including France, as well as renewing a military cooperation deal with the United States.
Erdogan is also upset that Greece won’t take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast and complained that US-made armored vehicles were being positioned there in an act of aggression against Turkey.
George Tzogopoulos, a Senior Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) in Athens told VOA that, “It’s crystal clear in Washington that Turkey is not considered a reliable partner and within that context, Greece is,” of the two NATO alleged allies.
“This situation is creating a new dynamic within the Eastern Mediterranean and NATO itself but most importantly, in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US is working closer with reliable partners, and this is fueling the aggressive rhetoric from the other side (Turkey,” he said.
Diplomatic sources in Athens not named told VOA that senior Greek officials will visit the Middle East to urge rejection of the Turkey-Libya deal before Turkey sends out research vessels or warships to accompany them.