Amadeusz Juskowiak

Greece says it has right on aegean oil drilling

Greece responding to a warning by Turkey against conducting oil activities in the Aegean Sea said today it had the right to decide where and how to do research or drilling work in the area

A government spokesman said the Greek position was made clear to Turkeys ambassador Nazmi Akiman when he met Greek Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Yannis Kapsis last week

Acting Turkish Prime Minister Kaya Erdem said earlier today Greek activities in the northern Aegean contravened the 1976 Berne Agreement which set the framework for talks on the Aegean continental shelf disputed between Ankara and Athens

The Greek statement today said Greece is not prepared to give up even a trace of its sovereignty rights to the seabed It has been stressed toMr Akiman that the decision where or how to drill belongs exclusively to the Greek government

The Greek government has repeatedly let the Turkish side know that it considers the 1976 Berne protocol as inactive through the fault of Turkey it said

The Greek statement said Athens was ready to put the continental shelf issue before international courts

Reuter