This Policy Paper by Efthymios Papastavridis, Research Associate of ELIAMEP; Researcher and Part-time Lecturer, University of Oxford Fellow; Academy of Athens & Athens PIL Center, examines the maritime disputes between Greece and Turkey, in particular those concerning maritime delimitation and the breadth of the territorial sea of Greece, against the background of international law. It starts with setting out the historical and legal background of the continental shelf dispute in the Aegean Sea, in particular Greece’s applications before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the UN Security Council in 1976. Then, the paper considers the different legal positions of Greece and Turkey concerning the issues of the breadth of the territorial sea and the maritime delimitation and assesses these positions under international law. This assessment is followed by the discussion of the various means available under international law for the settlement of the maritime delimitation dispute under international law, in particular, its submission to the ICJ, which has often been at the front line of public and scholarly discourse. The paper concludes that international law provides a sufficient, clear and predictable legal framework for the resolution of the Greek-Turkish maritime dispute, which will be of the outmost benefit for both States and for the Eastern Mediterranean region as a whole.
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