Thursday, January 21, 2021

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Greece, Turkey to have exploratory talks on Jan 25

IANS | January 12, 2021 11:57 AM

ATHENS: The 61st round of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey will take place in Istanbul on January 25, the country's Foreign Affairs Ministry announced in a statement.
Turkey had contacted the Greek side and proposed that the talks take place in Istanbul on January 25 which was in agreement with the latter, Xinhua news agency reported.

Greece had stated that it would accept a Turkish invitation to dialogue "on the basis of international law and concerning the delimitation of the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) and continental shelf", Alexandros Papaioannou, spokesperson of the Greek Foreign Affairs ministry, had said earlier on Monday.

The previous round of exploratory talks between the two sides had taken place in 2016.

Greece and Turkey have long disagreed on overlapping claims on hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, with both sides holding conflicting views of how far their continental shelves extend in waters.

Tensions increased last year after Ankara sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its rights in the region as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

European Union countries have been trying to mediate between Turkey and Greece over their conflicting demands.

Turkey says that Greece's maritime territory claims in the region, based on small islands near the Turkish coast, are in defiance of the international law.

Greece and Turkey are both Nato members, but have a history of border disputes and competing claims over maritime rights.

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