Turkey ‘would not accept’ Greece-Egypt Mediterranean deal
ATHENS - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) and his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras shake hands after signing a cooperation agreement at the end of the 3rd Greek-Turkish High Level Cooperation Council in Athens, Dec. 6. AFP PhotoAny delimitation of the Mediterranean between Egypt and Greece will not be acceptable if it affects Turkey’s national interests, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
Davutoğlu’s remarks were published on Dec. 7 in the Greek newspaper To Vima, in an interview given at the end of the third High-Level Cooperation Council meeting between Greece and Turkey in Athens on Dec. 6.
“If Greece signs the agreement with Egypt, we would not accept it if it affects our national interests. This agreement will not exist for us,” he said.
Ankara believes there can be no demarcation in the Eastern Mediterranean without Turkey, he said, adding that “trilateral cooperation” between Greece-Cyprus-Egypt or Greece-Cyprus-Israel for natural resources amounts to “opportunism” that comes at a “bad time.”
The heads of state of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece met on Nov. 8 in Cairo to discuss how to boost energy cooperation, hoping they could sideline Turkey in the Mediterranean.
Israel also recently held talks with the EU to decide if they would invest in a pipeline from its Mediterranean gas fields through Cyprus.
Prime Minister Davutoğlu said the gas pipeline imagined between Israel and Cyprus through Greece to Europe was “unsustainable economically and technically.”
He denied the cooperation deals were a threat to Turkey. “We do not feel any threat. No one can threaten us,” he said.
“In the Eastern Mediterranean, all arrangements, especially the boundaries on maritime zones, should be made after negotiations with all parties. If two or three parties declare an Exclusive Economic Zone without consulting other affected parties that are also interested and have a legitimate interest, then it is against international law,” he said.
Davutoğlu suggested that the best solution for Greece and Turkey in the Aegean is to first solve all problems between them before talking to third parties.
Regarding oil and gas exploration off the Cyprus coast, he said it could only be possible if talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to resolve the dispute were restarted.