Greece to take legal action against Turkey for sending warship, says FM

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ATHENS
Published 12.11.2014 14:25
Updated 12.11.2014 16:22
Greece to take legal action against Turkey for sending warship, says FM

Greece may resort to legal action against Turkey for allegedly violating the international sea law, Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said on Wednesday.

Evangelos Venizelos made the remarks at the Greek Parliament in Athens. He was referring to Turkey's recent move to send a warship to monitor a Greek Cypriot oil-and-gas exploration mission off the coast of Cyprus.

Turkey and the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have strongly opposed any unilateral move by the Greek-Cypriot administration to explore any hydrocarbon resources around the island, saying its natural resources should be exploited in a fair manner under a united Cyprus.

Venizelos said the political reaction from the Greek side might take form of a legal course.

"Our political reaction may have a legal aspect to it," he said.

Venizelos also said Turkey and Greece should continue to maintain contacts.

The Greek-Cypriot administration suspended talks over the divided island on October 7.

Negotiations between Turkish Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks collapsed partly because of the impact of the Eurozone debt crisis on the government in Lefkosa.

In 1974, an attempt was made by Greek Cypriots to forcibly join the island to Athens through "enosis," or union, in a coup attempt. This was resisted by an armed Turkish peace mission in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

Consequently, Turkish Cypriots set up their own state in the north of the island in 1983, while continuing attempts for reconciliation.

The EU recognizes the Greek-Cypriot administration on the island.

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will visit Athens on December 5 and 6 to attend a bilateral cooperation meeting.

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