Greece, Albania to seek ICJ ruling on maritime borders

Greece and Albania will seek the arbitration of the International Court of Justice in setting out their maritime borders after a decade-long deadlock, the Greek foreign minister said Tuesday.

"Greece and Albania decided to jointly submit this issue to international arbitration. To the international court of the Hague," Nikos Dendias said after talks with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana.

A ruling will be sought on the basis of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Dendias said.

Athens and Tirana in 2009 had brokered a maritime agreement that was later struck down by the Albanian constitutional court.

Rama's party had opposed the deal at the time.

Greece has stepped up efforts to delimitate maritime zones with its neighbours as it faces a territorial challenge from Turkey over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece in August ratified maritime border pacts with Egypt and Italy, noting that the move was "urgent" in view of "Turkey's illegal activities".

Facing exclusion from the regional energy race, Turkey in 2019 signed a contentious accord with the UN-recognised Libyan government that affords access to areas in the eastern Mediterranean where large hydrocarbon deposits are rumoured to exist.

Egypt, Cyprus and Greece denounced the Turkish-Libyan accord, which according to Athens fails to take into account the island of Crete.

Ankara has also deployed an exploration ship to waters claimed by Greece.

Topics: Greece , Albania , International Court of Justice , maritime borders , Nikos Dendias
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