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Greek parliament agrees to expand territorial waters

The Greek parliament agreed to an expansion of the country's territorial waters by a large majority on Wednesday.

Athens, 20 January 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The Greek parliament agreed to an expansion of the country’s territorial waters by a large majority on Wednesday.

They agreed to extend the limit of Greece’s territory in the west of the country from 6 to 12 nautical miles (11-22 kilometres).

Of 300 lawmakers, only 16 abstained.

Although the proposal would be in accordance with the 1994 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it could pave the way for further territorial extensions in the Aegean Sea that could heighten already fraught relations with Turkey.

The Turkish parliament said in 1995 it would interpret such an extension as a reason for declaring war.

Ankara and Athens have long been at loggerheads over natural gas reserves and maritime boundaries, with both claiming the right to prospect and drill for energy resources in the same part of the eastern Mediterranean.

Neighbours and NATO members Turkey and Greece are to meet on Monday for the first time since 2016, to resolve some of their differences.

The situation last came to a head in the summer of 2020. At that time, there was even a collision between a Greek and a Turkish frigate.

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