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Greece Launches Diplomatic Push Against Turkey

Ministry of Foreign Affairs. File photo

Greece launched on Monday a new diplomatic offensive against Turkey’s repeated and ongoing provocations in the Mediterranean, by writing to the EU, the UN Secretary General, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Official complaints will also be lodged against Turkey with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over that country’s statement this weekend that it would be responsible for search and rescues in broad swaths of the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea.
Turkey claims responsibility for search and rescue operations over almost half of the Aegean Sea.

Accompanied by its own maps, the statement showing the area claimed by Turkey includes parts of Cyprus and clearly infringes on zones that are in Greek maritime territory.
According to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs the barrage of diplomatic initiatives includes:
– a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denouncing Turkey’s highly destabilizing actions.
– a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which, in addition to briefing on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, it is emphasized that Turkish behavior not only violates the basic rules of conduct of an allied country, but also creates the risk of destabilizing NATO’s south-eastern flank and contradicts the provisions of the Greece-US Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement.
– a letter to the High Representative of the EU and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell on Turkish delinquency, which will emphasize Greece’s fundamental right to invoke Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union (Mutual Defence clause).
– Report to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the illegal announcement of the extension of the Turkish area of search-and-rescue responsibility, which overlaps with areas of Greek sovereignty and jurisdiction, which therefore does not produce legal results and at the same time does not serve to protect human life.
– A complaint to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the same issue.
– An intense protest action has been taken by the Greek embassy in Ankara to the Turkish side.
– Immediate briefing of the European Border & Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX, which operates in part of the area in question under Greek jurisdiction.
– Promoting Turkey’s destabilizing role at international level and at the same time highlighting to competent international bodies the continuously deteriorating human rights situation in Turkey.

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