Civilised states resolve their disputes through negotiations with earnestness, good faith, and trust in international law and if they do not come to fruition they refer the disputes to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

That is precisely what Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced yesterday that their countries will do in order to delimit their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

They will soon announce the date talks will start to conclude the compromis that will tell the court which issues are to be adjudicated.
Greece recently agreed with Turkey to launch the same process. The date talks would commence was to be announced soon thereafter.

Instead, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to directly provoke Greece by sending the research vessel Oruc Reis to the Aegean.

Naturally Greece’s differences with Turkey are more complex than those with Albania and the path is more difficult, but here too the issue to be resolved is the delimitation of maritime boundaries and that will be the object of negotiations if and when they begin.

Other related issues such as the extent the two countries’ territorial waters and airspace could be discussed informally as occurred previously in the context of exploratory talks before they abruptly ceased in 2016, after the abortive coup against Erdogan.

There is no other path. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is keenly aware of that and has often reiterated this reality.

Europe knows this as well and has undertaken diplomatic efforts in this direction.

Indeed, Turkey too knows this but it is trying to create a de facto situation in its favour on the ground through clearly bellicose actions.

It should realise, however, that these actions simply intensify its isolation and transform the country into an international pariah.

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