Greece to Seek World Court Ruling if Maritime Dialogue with Turkey Fails



Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday that if Athens and Ankara cannot solve their dispute regarding maritime zones in the Mediterranean they should turn to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to settle the disagreement once and for all.

“If we are unable to reach an agreement, then we must agree that the sole difference recognized by Greece should be tried by an international judicial forum, such as the International Court at The Hague,” Mitsotakis said in an interview with weekly newspaper To Vima.

“To be absolutely clear, I am referring to the delimitation of the continental shelf and the maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Prime Minister noted, adding that Greece has nothing to fear from this development.

He told interviewers that resorting to The Hague required not only absolute certainty that Greece had right on its side but also a complete willingness to accept the final decision of the international court.

“An initiative of this kind will have the support of all the political forces. It is necessary that this happens. Judging by the public statements of the other parties, I do not see any substantial objection,” Mitsotakis said.

While Greece desired — and still desires — good-neighborly relations, friendship and dialogue with Turkey, he said, “this does not mean that Greece will not defend its sovereign rights with all the means at its disposal, activating a very dense network of diplomatic initiatives in order to repel the Turkish side’s latest illegal actions, which are outside of international legality and common sense.”

Turkey’s recent choices have left it exceptionally isolated, Mitsotakis pointed out, unlike Greece, whose positions are always based on the upholding of international law. Greece’s actions have met with universal acceptance and received the support of a host of countries, which have only added to the strength of its position.