Greece and Egypt signed an agreement on Thursday designating an exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean, amid heightened tensions with Turkey over natural resources in the region.
Just a few days following Turkey’s decision to abstain from seismic research in disputed areas in the Aegean as a gesture of goodwill that could facilitate the beginning of discussions between Athens and Ankara, the situation does not look straightforward and the Greek side is facing difficult decisions.
Turkey has decided to suspend for the time being planned research for oil and gas reserves in areas of the Aegean that Greece felt incorporated its continental shelf, which triggered a military stand-off over the past few days.
Athens is on alert after Turkey announce plans, via a NAVTEX advisory on Tuesday, for a seismic survey south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo between July 21 and August 2.
Turkey’s top court decided on Friday to annul a 1934 law that had made the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul a museum, sparking a flurry of diplomatic activity and likely complication relations between Athens and Ankara.
The telephone call last Friday between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen by diplomatic sources in Athens as a first step for both sides to overcome the dead-end to which the recent lack of communication had been leading.
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’s visit to Egypt on Thursday was designed to display the political will and intention of the Greek side to accelerate and intensify talks with Cairo on the delimitation of sea zones.
After several years of talks, Greece and Italy signed on Tuesday a maritime borders agreement delimiting an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries.
Athens is examining all the diplomatic means at its disposal to respond to what it sees as mounting transgressions by Turkey.
Developments in Libya, where a UN-backed government of National Accord (GNA) supported militarily by Turkey has scored some victories over Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, are causing concern in Athens.