Greece, Israel urge Turkey to stop regional ‘aggression’

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis issued a joint message to Turkey warning it to respect maritime rights of other nations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

With Greece, Israel and Cyprus partnered up on energy projects in the eastern Mediterranean, Mitsotakis warned against what he called Turkey’s “aggressive behaviour.”

On Tuesday, the two Prime Ministers discussed the stance of Turkey in the region, while analysing its role in Libya.

“Turkey’s actions represent a threat to the region. On our part, we are always seeking peace, with respect to International Law”, Mitsotakis said.

“I analysed my perspective on Turkey’s stance in the Eastern Mediterranean. We consider this behaviour as a threat to regional stability and peace.

And of course, we discussed extensively the destabilizing role that Turkey plays in Libya, and the invalid agreement for the delimitation of maritime zones between the two countries,” Mitsotakis said.

He cited “recent incidents of illegal and provocative Turkish behaviour at our sea, air and land border” and “the destabilising effect that Turkey has made vis-a-vis its relationship with Libya”.

Turkey, which has declared part of the eastern Mediterranean a shared exploration area with Libya, says it is within its sovereign rights.

Amid an escalation of tension between Athens and Ankara, Greece and Israel urged respect for the sovereign rights of all states within their continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

“We strongly oppose attempts to violate these rights in a manner that endangers the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, violates international law and runs counter to good neighbourly relations,” said a joint declaration issued after talks in Jerusalem between Mitsotakis and Netanyahu.

The declaration stressed that both countries share common values of democracy and the rule of law and that Israel attaches “great importance to its longstanding and important partnership with Greece.”

“In this regard, we are also committed to continuing our trilateral cooperation with Cyprus and the 3+1 format with the United States of America with the clear aim of achieving concrete and meaningful results,” the declaration said.