Greek MPs walk out of NATO meeting after complaining of Turkey violations

A Greek delegation walked out of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels on Wednesday in protest after the chair of the meeting did not allow questions and statements following a speech by the Turkish ambassador, the Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported

“In the discussion following the presentation of Turkey’s ambassador to NATO, we requested answers to the issue of the violations of Greece’s sovereign rights, on one hand, and on the other we sought to brief our colleagues from other member countries about Turkey’s illegal actions and the risk they pose in the area of a conflagration,” the members of the multi-party delegation said in a statement

The Greek lawmakers said they had wanted to express Greece’s stance on Turkey’s maritime boundaries agreement with the United Nations-recognised Libyan government in Tripoli and its drilling activities off Cyprus. 

“The chair of the meeting systematically interrupted our exposition of our stance and our questions, obstructing us from developing our positions,” they said 

Greece says the Turkish-Libyan deal signed in November violates the International Law of the Sea by ignoring territorial waters of some Greek islands, including Crete and Rhodes. 

Tensions were high in the eastern Mediterranean throughout last year, as Turkey stepped up its efforts to find potentially large hydrocarbon reserves in the region by sending two drillship to waters off Cyprus, which remains divided since a Turkish invasion in 1974.

Turkish authorities plan to send an exploration vessel to the seas off Crete, the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak reported on Wednesday.