In a recent interview, Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis revealed that Greece is contemplating referring its ongoing maritime dispute with Turkey to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. This comes amidst efforts to reset relations between the two nations, which have been strained due to disagreements over the delimitation of their Exclusive Economic Zones.
Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis, in an interview with Al Qaheera TV on 3 August, disclosed that Greece is considering taking its longstanding maritime dispute with Turkey to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. This move is seen as a potential step towards resolving the contentious issue of delimiting the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) between the two countries.
Gerapetritis stated, “We do have a major dispute, which is the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf. The position of Greece is that International Law must be respected and especially the Law of the Sea. We are considering to refer this dispute to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.”
The Greek Foreign Minister’s statement coincides with recent efforts between Greece and Turkey to reset relations, which have been strained for several years. The two delegations, led by President Erdoğan of Turkey and Prime Minister Mitsotakis of Greece, have reportedly had constructive discussions at the recent NATO summit in Vilnius.
Gerapetritis expressed hope that the tranquillity observed in the Aegean over the past few months would aid in further developing a political dialogue between the two countries. He also highlighted the importance of promoting a positive agenda with issues of common interest such as trade, economy, civil protection, tourism, and overall development of both nations.
The Greek Foreign Minister also drew attention to their agreement on the delimitation of the Economic Zone with Egypt, hailing it a good example of a successful negotiation process and resolution. He stated, “It was an important agreement, not only because it essentially resolved a major issue that will allow the two countries to further develop their resources of wealth, but also because this is the pattern to follow: by discussing, negotiations, mutual compromises, and eventually reaching a win-win situation for both countries.”
The move to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice, if it materialises, could mark a significant step towards resolving one of the most contentious issues between Greece and Turkey.