On the sidelines of the NATO summit in London on December 4, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are set to hold a meeting to discuss maritime borders and other issues. The move has been planned after Turkey announced that it had reached an agreement with Libya to delineate its maritime economic interests.
Besides this, a map published by Turkey shows the Turkish and Libyan Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) meeting midway across the Mediterranean, over an area also claimed by Greece.
Mitsotakis reportedly told his colleagues that he will talk to President Erdogan on all the issues relating to Turkish provocation. He further said that he will try to talk openly and that it's in Turkey's interest to retrench from provocative moves. Speaking on the planned meet, Erdogan told the media that the Greek prime minister had requested him for a meeting to discuss these matters. The Turkey premiere further said that Greece should be aware that the collective efforts of Israel, Egypt, and the Greek Cypriots will not stand in the way of Turkey's steps in Libya. He said that the agreement has been signed and that it will be brought to the Parliament, where it will be ratified by a majority and from that point on it will be in force.
Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt agreed on most of their EEZ boundaries as early as 2003. On the other hand, Turkey proposed an EEZ delineation with Egypt - a line bisecting the Mediterranean. However, Egypt declined it as Cyprus was left out. The current situation not only puts the fishing rights at stake but also raises alarms over the large oil and gas fields. The Eastern Mediterranean could ultimately yield 350 trillion cubic feet of gas and 3.5 billion barrels of oil as per the United States Geological Survey estimates which leaves out Turkey. Both Greece and Turkey have never agreed on the delineation of their EEZ, waters or airspace. Turkey does not recognize that Greece's EEZ under the UN International Law of the Sea.
(With inputs from agencies)