Greek diplomacy is on alert for new Turkish provocations that are believed to be coming after the “green” light from the Turkish parliament to the agreement signed by Turkey with Libya on the designation of maritime zones.
Athens has from the very first moment been confronting Turkish proclivities with calm response, as its neighbour once again tries with its aggressive attitude and rhetoric to create a fait accompli in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Greek side may have been taken aback by the Turkish provocations with the climax of concluding an agreement with Libya, but it appears to be on the alert as there is always the danger of a hot incident in the Aegean.
The MoD, as daily Ta Nea notes, for two years now has drawn up a series of plans to counter Turkish provocations, aimed at a shield mainly in the Kastelorizo area, and now focuses on protecting Crete.
The danger of a hot incident
The signing of the Turkey-Libya agreement and Athens’s expulsion of the Libyan ambassador who refused to disclose to the foreign ministry the MoU his government signed with Turkey on the establishment of sea zones has created an explosive atmosphere and developments are troublesome.
It should be noted that the risk of a hot incident and plans to deal with a possible Turkish research vessel in the Aegean have been hotly debated since the summer, putting the Armed Forces on alert, Ta Nea reports.
The concern is now heightened by Ankara’s moves but also by Erdogan’s aggressive rhetoric.
Dynamic response from Athens
While Ankara is celebrating the deal with Libya, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, after an ultimatum to the Libyan ambassador to announce the deal – which he did not comply with – has decided to expel him.
He pointed out that the text of the agreement bears the signature of the Libyan Foreign Minister, the same man, who, in September, provided assurances to the Greek side in the opposite direction.
Despite the “harsh language” he used in referring to blatant violations of International Law of the Sea and the sovereign rights of Greece and other states, Mr Dendias made clear that the expulsion of the ambassador was not a break in diplomatic relations with the government of Saraj.
As “diplomatic fever” prevails over Athens’ next targeted moves, it was announced that Libya’s Speaker of the House of Representatives Agila Saleh Issa Gwaider, will arrive in Athens next week at the invitation of Greek House Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas.
The meeting in parliament will be held in the aftermath of the Libyan Parliament’s vote on a memorandum of understanding between the Turkish government and the Libyan-based “national reconciliation” government based in Tripoli.
Foreign Policy Council on Tuesday
Amid this climate, it was announced yesterday that the Greek Foreign Policy Council will meet Tuesday to inform the parties of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ recent meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his upcoming diplomatic moves.
The Council, which has been called upon by almost all political parties, will be held in the shadow of Turkish proclivities culminating in the signing of the Libyan-Turkish Maritime Agreement, a development that has provoked an angry reaction from Athens.