A deal drawing maritime borders between Greece and Italy came into effect on Monday, said Italian diplomatic sources.
The two countries exchanged the tools of ratification of the deal during an official visit by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Rome, said Italy’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.
During the meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, cooperation in the fields of energy and economy, and regional developments, particularly concerning Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, were also addressed, the statement added.
According to Italian official news agency ANSA, Dendias accused Turkey of “violations in the Eastern Mediterranean” and threatening Greece.
Turkey, while seeking to defend its fair share of maritime territory in the Eastern Mediterranean, has decried recent provocative Greek moves such as the militarization of Aegean islands that are demilitarized by a treaty, navigational alerts (Navtex) that violate longstanding pacts, and illegal encroachment on Turkey’s continental shelf.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region –- including maritime disputes -– through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiations.
Also, the implementation of the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan for handling the economic effects of the pandemic, cooperation against irregular migration, and EU’s enlargement to the Western Balkans were discussed between the two ministers.
Dendias, on Tuesday, was received by the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Paroli.
In the meeting, bilateral and regional developments, ahead of Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to Greece on Dec.4-6, were discussed, said the Greek Foreign Ministry.
Greece, a predominantly Orthodox country, has a minority of over 50,000 Catholics, excluding expatriates and migrants, who are mostly concentrated in islands in the Aegean and Ionian Sea.