The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ROME – Greece and Italy signed an agreement Tuesday that marks the maritime boundary in the Ionian Sea between the exclusive economic zones of the two European Union members.
The deal is “an important development” and shows Greece’s constant goal is to delimit maritime zones with all its neighbors, with valid agreements that adhere to international law — unlike Turkey’s agreement with Libya, Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias said in Athens, following the signing of the accord with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio.
The agreement is an extension of a 1977 accord and opens the way for Greece and Italy to issue licenses for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources. The deal also paves the way for Greece to reach a similar deal with neighboring Albania.
The agreement comes amid tensions in the eastern Mediterranean over natural resources. The region has become an energy hot spot with big finds for EU member Cyprus, as well as for Israel and Egypt in recent years, and Turkey’s push to secure a share of the resources in those waters has been seen as exacerbating strains in an already tumultuous region.