‘Albania Confirms Greek Right to Extent Territorial Waters in Ionian Sea’

TIRANA – Under the above headline the Greek daily Kathimerini and its portal in English ekathimerini.com said on Friday that Albania has confirmed Greece’s right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles from six in the Ionian Sea.

“Greece, like any other state party to the [United Nations] Convention [on the Law of the Sea], where geography allows and as long as the sovereign rights of another state are not violated, enjoys the right to extend the breadth of the territorial sea as provided by UNCLOS,” the Albanian government said in a statement in reference to the 1982 United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The planned measure, announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Parliament on Wednesday, does not affect the Aegean region, off Greece’s eastern and southern coasts.

It was Edi Rama, Albania’s PM himself, who made that announcement which has been criticized by the opposition Democratic Party (DP), while President Ilir Meta warned that the Constitution should be respected.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the parliament on Wednesday that his government is preparing a bill to be soon submitted for a vote according to which Greece will extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea from six to 12 nautical miles.

While Mitsotakis made no mention of Albania’s consent for this decision of his government, Greek Minister of Foreign Affair Nikos Dendias wrote on Twitter that he had spoken with Prime Minister Edi Rama on Tuesday.

“I spoke by phone to Albania PM Edir Rmal. Bilateral relations and developments in our region in focus,” wrote in a post on Twitter Dendias on August 25, 2020.

Albanian President Ilir Meta urged government and all other institutions on Thursday to respect the decision of the Constitutional Court on the maritime border with Greece./argumentum.al