Greek Parliament agrees to maritime deal with Egypt, to the anger of Turkey

The Greek parliament has approved a maritime agreement with Egypt. With this agreement, the precise maritime borders between the two countries on the Mediterranean Sea have been determined. Turkey previously called the agreement meaningless.

Athene and Ankara have been at loggerheads over an area in the eastern Mediterranean for the past few weeks. Both countries are searching for oil and gas in the disputed waters. Greece held several military exercises in the area, supported by France, Italy and Cyprus.

The exercises were a reaction to an expedition of a Turkish ship, searching for natural gas near the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The Turkish president Erdogan reacted tormented to the military exercises of his NATO allies and warned that a “high price” would be paid if a Turkish ship would be attacked.

Deal with Libya

In December Turkey concluded its own maritime agreement in the Mediterranean with Libya. This would give Ankara access to an area rich in oil and gas. Greece called the deal contrary to international law. Minister Blok of Foreign Affairs supported his Greek colleague in this.

Germany today called on the countries concerned to end the military exercises, so that the tensions between Greece and Turkey will decrease. Minister Maas of Foreign Affairs calls the situation “very complicated”, but says he hopes that both countries will be open to a diplomatic solution.