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Home arrow newsitems arrow Masks Fall ? Greece Ready for Gas Talks with Turkey, but it Sends more Drilling+WarShips in EU's EEZ

Masks Fall ? Greece Ready for Gas Talks with Turkey, but it Sends more Drilling+WarShips in EU's EEZ

Written by ACM
Friday, 07 August 2020

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Turkey Droped its Masks, after Greek Government Spokesman, Stelios Petsas, stressed that Athens was "Ready to Start Exploratory Contacts even with Turkey, if they wish so", on the Eastern Mediterranean Gas/Oil row, while Ankara just "Replied" by ...Sending anew illegal Drilling Ships, escorted by Warships, inside EU Member States Greece and Cyprus' EEZ...

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greek_government_spokesman_stelios_petsas_gtn__eurofora_400 

- Indeed, "We (Greece) Wish to Solve the Only Pending Issue that we have with Turkey, i.e. the OutLine of our respective Sea Zones, with Exploratory Contacts", Because, in general, "we Wish to Discuss, Always with due Respect to the International Law of the Sea, and Solve such kind of Issues", Petsas said.

- Already, "the Other Side (Ankara) Knows that we have Appointed the Head of Our Delegation, and Wait from them (to do alike), while we are also Ready to Start Even on August " 2020, particularly "After the Positive Message that it (Ankara) send with a Step towards Desescalation", (i.e. by, Briefly, Retrieaving its Ships from EU's EEZ), he said

- "If they (Turkey) want to Delay, to Backpedal, that's part of the (Diplomatic) Game". But, "what we (Greece) do Not Accept are Threats and Accomplished Facts !", he Warned.

- So, "we are Not Afraid, but Remain Vigilent", Petsas Firmly pointed out, (Comp. also Other Statements by the Greek Government Spokesman, in Reply to "Eurofora"s Questions, on EU's General Interest to Protect Mediterranean Energy Sources from Turkey's Bullying, during the December 2019 EU Summit in Brussels, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eusummitslamsturkishlibyanflop.html, etc).

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- However, the Only "Response" from the Turkish Side was, this Same Day, to Claim that Greece and Egypt would Not have Any Common Borders in the Mediterranean Sea at all, and to Slam a Peaceful Deal Between Athens and Cairo on the Outlines of their respective EEZs' as "Nul and Not Existing", Because that Area would Belong to Ankara's EEZ, according to its own view, Threatening that this Turkish point would be Proven not only Diplomatically, But Even "on the Spot" !

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+ Moreover, Turkish President Tayip Erdogan, (Provocatively Filmed in front of the Recently anew Desecrated OverMillenary Christian Church of Sainte Sophie at Constantinople/Istanbul, a UNESCO-Protected Historic/Cultural Monument, Transformed into a Islamist Mosque), Announced that Ankara Sends anew Gas Drilling Ships and WarShips inside Greece and Cyprus' EEZ, including with Turkish HydroCarbon Exploration Ship "Barbaros":

- The Agreement between Greece and Egypt "has Not Any (legal) Value", Erdogan Claimed, and Turkey "Will Execute, Firmly," its own Deal with Libya, he Vowed, (as he called a Doubtful and Provocative Paper Signed by Ankara and Tripoli's Controversial and Contested "Prime Minister" - Not Recognized Even by the Libyan Parliament -  who did Not Control the 2/3 of that Country, under Libyan General Haftar's rule, Despite a Turkish Deadly Military Intervention importing Foreign Extremist Islamist Groups from Syria+), which practicaly Ignores All Greek Islands (as Rhode, Creta, and Many Others...) Between those 2 very Remotely located States.                                                                                                           

- Erdogan Claimed, Filmed in front of Sainte Sophie (Agia Sofia in its Historic, Original Name, during the Christian Greek Empire of Byzantium, 330-1.453), that Turkey would have Only Briefly "Paused", in Recent Days, its illegal Drilling and WarShips' Incursions inside EU Member Countries Greece and Cyprus' EEZ, upon German Chancellor Merkel's Request, for an undetermined Deal Pleasing Turkey. "But", Curiously Accusing Athens and Cairo to "go Back on Their Word" (sic !), with "an Agreement which hasN't Any Legal Base" (sic !), the  embatled Turkish President Threatened "to Resume Immediately" his illegal "Drilling" inside Europe's EEZ, with "Barbaros" and WarShips.

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- On the Contrary, Egypt's Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, declared his Surprise for the fact that Ankara reacts with so Harsh "Claims, against an Agreement that it (Turkey) has Not even Seen, neither its concrete Details".

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greeceegypt_mafs_dendias__sucri_sign_med_eez_deal_epa__eurofora_400 

- Greek Foreign Minister Dendias (an Experienced, former Long-Time MEP and Rapporteur at CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg), who had Just Finalized a Long Negotiation, and Signed the Greco-Egyptian Deal in Cairo, Together with his Counterpart, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sucri, Explained, in this regard, that "the Agreement ... Foresees Also Other Deals, with Other Countries, f.ex. a Future Negotiation with Libya, Agreements with Cyprus, and, sometime, (Even) with Turkey". "But, Judging from its Reactions, I doN't find this very Imminent...", he regretted.  

Athens has Already Signed such Deals with Italy and Egypt, reportedly eyes also with Albania, and most probably Cyprus.

- "I am Surprized by the Fact that Turkey Abandoned the Exploratory Contacts (as Also Back on 2016) under the influence of an UnExplained Anger", and "I DoN't Understand How a Legal Agreement, which Contributes to Stability and Security in the Region ... could produce Such Reactions. Turkey is Welcome to Discuss with us (Greece), on the Same Terms as Egypt and Italy", Dendias proposed. 

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greek_pm_mitsotakis_at_rhodos_2020_npgeurofora_400 

- Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, (Speaking from the Island of Rhodus), stressed that this "Succesfull" "Agreement with Egypt, Sends ... the Message that, When Diplomacy Works, on the Basis of International Law, it Can Bring Results ! And it's Only the International Law which Guarantees, in fine, the Harmonious Co-Existence of Peoples, and the Peaceful ReSolution of Any Differencies".

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usa_state_department_with_flag_dck__eurofora_screenshot_400 

- A USA's State Department's Spokesman, at Washington DC Headquarters,  Observed, Earlier Today, on the occasion of this Greco-Egyptian Deal, that the US Encourages All States to Solve Peacefully their Disagreements, concerning Issues of Maritime Limits' Jurisdiction, (Obviously pointing mainy at Ankara).

On the Contrary, Turkish WarShips have Notoriously Bullied and Threatened even Italian ENI's Energy Exploration Ships to Work in Cyprus' EEZ, in Agreement with Nicosia, and Repeatedly Violated Both Greece's and Cyprus' EEZ on Pretext of illegal "Drillings" by Caricatural Bogus Turkish Ships, (with locacious Pittoresque Names as "Barbaros", and Even "Chegis Khan" - sic !) Never Finding Anything Else than Negative, Sterile, and CounerProductive Tension and Trouble.

In Such Conditions, some Ankara's Obviously Hypocritical Claims to "just wish to Equitably (sic !) Share Eastern Mediterranean's Energy Resources", Inevitably Recall the image of an Armed Burglar telling to a Terrified Family into whose Home he has just Intruded Brutally, that he Only Wishes to "Share" Their Belongings...

- But, the President of EU Parliament's Security and Defense Committee, former French EU Minister, and Director of the prestigious ENA School for Top Officials, Based in Strasbourg, "ReNew/Liberal" MEP Nathalie Loiseau, has Already Observed, Earlier in Strasbourg, that, in Fact, ...Whenever those Bullying Turkish WarShips Intruders See some French Military Ships and/or AirPlanes approach such Hotspots, they Suddenly ..."Vanish", (and, Afterwards, attempt to Reappear Elsewhere ) !... Something which seems to Go Also for USA's Energy Companies drilling in Cyprus, (etc).

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delos_island_with_related_ancient_greek_cities_links_at_the_aegean_wikipedia__eurofora_400 

As for anOther Ankara's Claim that its Revendications on Mediterranean Sea's Energy Resources should Not be at all Limited at the Turkish Coasts, Obviously, it Forgets Not Only the Modern International Law's Principal Rules, as far as Islands' Legitimate Rights to have a Recognized Shelf are concerned, But Also the Symbolic Historic Fact that, Already, Since During the 5 Centuries BC, f.ex., the Beautiful and Centraly Located Island of Delos, (Mythical Birthplace of Ancient Gods "Apollo" and "Athena", the 1st having Inspired Zoroastrians and Partly Christianism, etc), by being Situated Right in the Middle of Aegean Sea (Near World-Famous Mukonos), has Served, for Long Centuries, as the HeadQuarters of the 1st European "Con-Federation" of States, Uniting, in a Maritime Network, Adriatique Sea's Corfu, up to Buzance (Later OverMillenary Constantinople, Nowadays Istanbul), Methana (Nowadays Thessaloniki), through Athens, Ephesos (alias Neo-Classical Greek Smyrne, Nowadays Izmir), Rhodos, (etc. : See relevant MAPs), Before Becoming, Later-on, the Main European/International Commercial "Hub" (a kind of "New York" of the Antiquity, as UNESCO Describes it), practicaly Linking the Middle East to Europe through its Trans-National and Pluri-Cultural Sea Networks.

ancient_greek_delos_confederation_5th_century_bc_wikipedia__eurofora_400

These were Landmark Historical Peaceful Times, of Great European Civilisations, (Greek, Roman, etc), After the Defeat of Asian Persian Millitary Attempts to Invade and Occupy all Ancient Europe. Following the World-Famous (even ..Hollywood-Filmed) Battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamina, and Platea.

lepanto_naval_battle_1st_historic_victory_of_european_army_1571_history_5_videoeurofora_screenshot_400 

Mutatis-Mutandis, something Similar to the Equaly Famous, 1st Victorious Naval Battle of a Modern United European Army (Bringing Together the People of Many European Countries), at Lepante (1.571), at a Sea-Link between Greece and Italy, (against a Turkish Fleet having just Cowardly Massacrated even the Prisoners after they Invaded Famagusta Seaport in Cyprus, then Led by Venice). A Victory (which Liberated 12.000 Christian Slaves, since then Celebrated each October 7 Anniversary as "the Day of Our Lady of Victory") mainly, then, for the Control of Western Mediterranean Sea, (a kind of Precursor of the Subsequent Terrestrial Victory of anOther United European Army against the Former Ottoman-Turkish Empire at Vienna on 1.683, Followed by Budapest's Liberation on 1.690, etc), where, according, at least, to an Experienced former Minister of Italy for EU Affairs, "Lepante was the Beginning of Modern Europe's History" !

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our_lady_of_victory__7_october_1571_lepanto_naval_battle_my_catholic_review__eurofora_screenshot_400 

I.e., about 420 Years Ago, while, Nowadays, the EU is Still, Notoriously, Striving, through Delays and Various Obstacles (including UK's Blockade, Before the 2019 "BREXIT"), to Build, at last, a Real, Credible and Strong, United European Security and Defense Policy... (Comp. relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport, from an EU Summit in Brussels, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euhistoricdefenceevent.html, etc).

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Nowadays, Meanwhile, EU Leaders have Notoriously "Decided to Create a Legal Framework for Sanctions on Turkey", as a Brussels' Spokesman reminded, on the occasion, Precisely, of the above-mentioned Turkish WarShips' Bullying inside EU Member States Greece and Cyprus' EEZ, for Eastern Mediterranean's Energy Resources.

Isn't it, indeed, much Preferable, Today, if not, even, an Existential Vital Need for Europe, to Prove, on the spot, that a Firm Diplomacy, Based on Crystal-clear Principles and International Law, Together, whenever Necessary, with a Credible Dissuasion Force, Can Become Able to Protect European People's Security and Development ?

Both Munich of a Notorious Past, and Nowadays' Turkish Brutal Repeated WarShips etc. Bullying (Comp. Supra), Obviously Prove that a Principled Firmness is More Able to Guarantee Peace and Prosperity, than Excessive and Prolonged Laxism...


(../..)

("Draft-News")

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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