“The conditions between Turkey and Greece must be resolved immediately”

The Aegean Sea is not a Greek lake, a former Greek foreign minister has said, stressing that the current regional conditions between Turkey and Greece require immediate resolution.

The ongoing Russian war in Ukraine signals the arrival of a new Cold War, a proxy war between East and West, to which Greece and Turkey belong, the former Greek foreign minister says Evangelos Venizelos in a speech at the OT Economic Forum, as reported on Thursday by the Greek newspaper To Vima.

Venizelos said Turkey is the Eastern Mediterranean country with the longest coastline and Greece and Turkey must act to demarcate maritime borders in the Mediterranean under international law.

He noted Turkey’s good relations with Ukraine and Russia, and its mediation efforts to find a solution to the crisis, while emphasizing that Turkey is seeking a more autonomous foreign policy as it is still Where is.

But Turkish-Russian relations are complicated. In some areas their interests converge, in others they diverge, he argued.

Venizelos added that the war should have removed all doubt and discussion about Greece’s place in the world and the direction of its foreign policy. Greece is a western country, he said.

Venizelos is an expert in international law and served as deputy prime minister and foreign minister in the leftist PASOK government from June 2013 to January 2015.

Turkey expects to see positive developments in its relations with its western neighbor Greece, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said earlier this week as he underlined Turkey’s commitment to the regional peace.

NATO allies and neighbors Turkey and Greece are at odds over a number of issues, including competing claims over jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, airspace, energy, the ethnically divided island of Cyprus and the status of the Aegean islands.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, pointing out that their excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding issues in the region through international law, good-neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.

Senior Turkish officials continue to question Greek sovereignty over parts of the Aegean, but last year Ankara resumed bilateral talks with Athens.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to Turkey last month sent positive messages, with both leaders stressing the importance of dialogue between the two countries.

The two leaders also underlined the idea that Turkey and Greece have a special responsibility in building Europe’s security against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They also agreed to keep communication channels open and improve bilateral relations despite disagreements.

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Sharon P. Juarez