U.S. Ambassador Pyatt to Turkey: Islands have their own sea borders

13 January 2020
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U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt sent a clear message to Turkey saying “islands had their own Exclusive Economic Zone (EZZ)” during commenting on the recent visit by Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Washington.

“It was a fantastically successful meeting,” said Mr. Pyatt, praising the Greek Prime Minister’s showing at the White House and his talks with President Donald Trump.
“I’ve been doing this for years and I rarely see this success,” said the US diplomat, adding, “the prime minister explained in detail in his contacts the issues concerning Greece”.

Referring to the geopolitical developments in the region, the US ambassador said: “We have clearly said that the Eastern Mediterranean must be a zone of peace, security, and stability.”

He repeated his recent statement that “the islands have the same rights to the sea as the land”, adding that the US “does not support unilateral actions”.

Asked if his country considers the Turkey-Libya agreement “illegal”, he replied that “we have not yet attributed such a designation, but continue to maintain it is counterproductive and provocative.”

He went on to say, however, that the appropriate way to delimitate the EEZ is to follow Greece and Italy, which is based on international law and does not exacerbate the situation in the region.

Mr. Pyatt noted that “Greece is a factor of stability in the region”, and he concluded by saying that the message Mr. Mitsotakis sent was that “the various problems will not be resolved by military means but by international law and dialogue”.

Regarding the prospect of Greece purchasing F-35 U.S. aircraft, Mr. Pyatt said talks on the issue would be long, adding that the F-16 upgrade was at the forefront because that would be the first step.

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