In a thinly veiled blow to another NATO member country Turkey, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a message to Ankara that any use of force to resolve maritime disputes will be swiftly doomed.
French Foreign Ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian, present at the UN Security Council meeting on Monday, agreed with Blinken on the need to implement and respect the rules of international law.
The meeting they attended, entitled “Maintaining International Peace and Security at Sea”, featured discussions on the continuing need to implement and respect the rules of international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law. from the sea (UNCLOS).
The US Secretary of State said in his remarks after the meeting that “the international community has long benefited from a maritime order based on international law as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which defines the legal framework for all ocean and maritime activities.
“The seas become theaters of constant confrontation”
“The United States’ repeated exhortations to all states are to comply with their claims in accordance with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“We condemn actions aimed at resolving maritime disputes by the use of force, as this practice is contrary to the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, such as the peaceful settlement of disputes and the sovereign equality of the Member States of the United Nations. ‘UN.
“States that ignore or attempt to redraw the sea or land borders of other States undermine key United Nations principles.
“The final point is that states have worked for decades to create an environment of stability, maritime order and security based on the rules of the international system. This was the result of a commonly accepted recognition that it is in the interest of peoples and nations that governments accept certain parameters of their actions, instead of living in a world where the strong count for nothing and the less strong feel threatened and forced. “
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed with Blinken, adding that “The security of maritime areas is based on respect for international law. Without respect for international law, the seas become the scene of permanent confrontation. The sea must not be turned into a land of conflict between states. “
Turkey foments maritime disputes by redrawing the map of the Mediterranean and the claims of the “blue homeland”
These two strong positions reflect maritime law as understood by Greece and the way it responds to clashes in the Mediterranean as proposed by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
In 2019, Turkey and Libya jointly agreed on a supposed maritime border between the two nations that completely ignored Greek territory in the Mediterranean, redrawing the maps to show that Greece had no sovereignty over its islands there.
During his visit to Libya in April this year, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Prime Minister, called on Libya to repeal the 2019 illegal maritime border agreement with Turkey.
Mitsotakis said during a joint press briefing with Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh in Tripoli that for Greece “it is very important, the cancellation of illegal documents.
“They have been presented as allegedly transnational agreements but have no legal effect, as the European Council expressly stated.”
Athens is fiercely opposed to the agreement between Ankara and Tripoli, which claims much of the Mediterranean for energy exploration and as an exclusive economic zone, contrary to international law and to the claims of Greece, Cyprus and the ‘Egypt.
The 2019 maritime agreement was immediately strongly condemned by the United States.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in February his country was determined to defend its rights to what it calls the “blue homeland”, referring to the Aegean by name on a fanciful map drawn up for the first time in 2020 by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In what appears to be another coup from Greece’s neighbor to the east after a year of almost endless incursions into Greek waters and airspace, the defense minister has invoked an expansionist doctrine that claims control Turkish over the Eastern Aegean Sea and the northern Mediterranean.
Referring to the Aegean as the “Sea of Islands,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to his AKP party earlier this week in Istanbul that no one should be worried about the Turkish presence of the Black Sea to the eastern Mediterranean.