The analysis examines the recent maritime boundary delimitation agreement signed between Greece and Egypt, and discusses its implications for the Greek-Turkish dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece continues to escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean amid calls from the European Union for dialogue. In addition to conducting military exercises, Athens deployed troops to the island of Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis) and is preparing to conclude an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) agreement with the Greek Cypriots – similar to Athens' controversial deal with Egypt. Last but not least, Greek leaders fueled tensions last week by talking about extending their claims in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles.
The analysis provides an overview of the two central security challenges Greece faces today, namely the energy rivalry with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean/Libya, and the mass influx of refugees at the Greek-Turkish border, and discusses the prospects for a renewed Greek-Turkish détente.
In an interview with The Washington Post last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan "wants an honest conversation with the European Union, the best way would be to stop threatening to send hundreds of thousands of refugees to its shores." "We can have an honest discussion with President Erdoğan," he added. "He needs financial support."
At a time when Turkey and Greece have had significant disagreements, Tsipras' meeting with Erdoğan can be considered a confidence-building step