In joint statements with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio after the signing on Tuesday of an agreement between Greece and Italy on the delimitation of the two countries` maritime zones, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said it was a “historic moment” and an agreement that established the rights of the islands over maritime areas and guaranteed their respective fishing rights. The agreement signed with Italy is the first agreement signed by Greece with regard to its exclusive economic zone and drawn up on the basis of UNCLOS. It confirms the right of the islands to a maritime zone, the 1977 mid-line for the Greek-Italian continental shelf as the border of the Greece-Italy EEZ and, with Tuesday`s agreement, for waters above the continental shelf. The agreement signed by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio during his visit to Athens, follows a long period of tension in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey signed a controversial agreement on the delimitation of maritime states with Libya and… Today, 43 years after the 1977 agreement, 26 years after Greece ratified the Montego Bay Treaty on the Law of the Sea and 7 years after the case was systematically revived in 2013, the agreement has been signed, essentially delimiting the EEZ of the two countries under the conditions of tension known in Greek-Turkish relations and after the signing of the so-called Turkey-Libya agreement. , in violation of international law. The agreement, he said, “describes the extent of the development of maritime areas and naturally recognizes sovereign rights for all areas, whether land or island. It is a model of cooperation and good neighbourly relations, and a decisive contribution to peace and stability in the region. According to di Maio, the agreement will “strengthen a coordinated historical friendship in European and international for a” towards a large Mediterranean region in which the two countries play a leading role. The agreement signed on 9 June 2020 between Greece and Italy now uses the demarcation line of the 1977 bilateral agreement on the delimitation of the continental shelf of the two countries to delineate the other maritime areas in which both countries have the right to exercise their rights of public power or their international jurisdiction. In practice, this means that when Greece declares an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in general or only in the specific zone, this area will already be demarcated and its area will be exactly the same as that of the continental shelf already delimited since 1977. Article 2 of the agreement provides that one of the parties, when deciding to determine a maritime area, practically an EEZ, is required to inform the other party as soon as possible.
Firstly, the internal balance of the 1977 agreement, which concerns derogations from the principle of equalization and the principle of the full effect of the islands and which respects the outstanding delimitations in relation to other neighbouring countries (tripartite zones), is also included in the 2020 agreement.