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East Med: Greece ratifies deal with Egypt; Turkey to hold drills | Greece News

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Greece has ratified an accord on maritime boundaries with Egypt, hours after Turkey extended the operation of a seismic survey vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean and said it will hold firing exercises in the region next week.

The Athens-Cairo agreement is seen as a response to a Turkish-Libyan accord signed in 2019 allowing Turkey access to areas in the region where large hydrocarbon deposits have been discovered.

Under their treaty, Egypt and Greece are now allowed to seek maximum benefit from the resources available in an exclusive economic zone, including oil and gas reserves.

A similar accord between Italy and Greece was approved on Wednesday.

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas on Thursday said “their ratification is urgent” given “Turkey’s illegal activities”.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament another bill will extend Greece’s coastal zone in the Ionian Sea from six (about 11km) to 12 nautical miles (22km) under international maritime conventions.

Will Greece and Turkey fight over energy?

Turkey and Greece – both NATO allies – are at odds over the rights to potential hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean area, based on conflicting claims over the extent of their continental shelves.

Tensions escalated this month after Ankara dispatched the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel in a disputed area following the pact between Athens and Cairo.

Turkey has said the pact infringes on its own continental shelf. The agreement also overlaps with maritime zones Turkey agreed to with Libya last year, decried as illegal by Greece.

Al Jazeera’s John Psaropoulos, reporting from Athens, said “Greece got what it wanted legally and diplomatically” following the maritime accord with Egypt.

‘It has the backing of Europe, it has the agreement in legal terms with Egypt, a very good agreement in legal terms with Italy,” he said.

“Greece now feels to be in a position of legal strength to demand that Turkey agrees to have talks on the basis of international maritime law.”

Sinem Koseoglu, Al Jazeera correspondent in Istanbul, however, said it is unlikely that Turkey will “come to a negotiating table” and the Greece-Egypt deal means the “military tensions are going to rise” in the region.

“But will it turn into a conflict? This is still a question mark,” she said.

‘Gunnery exercises’

Earlier on Thursday, the Turkish navy issued the latest advisory, known as a Navtex, saying it will hold “gunnery exercises” in the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Iskenderun, northeast of Cyprus on September 1 and 2.

It also extended the seismic work of the Oruc Reis vessel southwest of Cyprus, until September 1.

Greece says the Turkish advisories are illegal.

Maritime zones give a state rights over natural resources. Largely unexplored, the Eastern Mediterranean is thought to be rich in natural gas.

As the dispute widened, France said on Wednesday it was joining military exercises with Italy, Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the deployment of French military aircraft in Cyprus violated treaties regarding the control and administration of the island after independence from Britain in 1960.

Aksoy said France’s stance was dangerously encouraging Greece and Cyprus to further escalate tensions in the region.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 following a Turkish invasion triggered by a Greek-inspired coup.

Turkey recognises the Turkish-populated north of Cyprus as a separate state, which is not recognised by other countries.

Greece said on Wednesday it plans to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles (22km) from its coast, from six nautical miles, after the ratification of a maritime deal with Italy.

To the east of Greece, Turkey has warned that a similar move by Athens in waters east of Greece would be a cause for war.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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