Serious diplomatic efforts got underway this week with the aim of defusing tension between Greece and Turkey.
The decision to extend Greece’s territorial waters along its western coastline in the Ionian Sea from six nautical miles to 12, as announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Parliament on Wednesday, can be seen as a landmark for Greek foreign policy.
Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is due back in Athens on Tuesday, just a few weeks following his last visit.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to raise Greece’s concerns about Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean when he takes part in a call with EU leaders on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Belarus.
A week of intense diplomatic activity for Greece culminates on Friday with an emergency EU foreign affairs council teleconference and a meeting between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Vienna.
Greece is stepping up its diplomatic efforts in the hope of securing a united European reaction to Turkey’s action in the Aegean as the Oruc Reis research vessel continued its activity in the area.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to speak to Greece’s political leaders on Tuesday to update them on the latest developments in the ongoing spat with Turkey over maritime boundaries.
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.