15:30 GMT16 April 2021
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey is ready to start negotiations with Egypt on the delimitation of maritime zones in the Mediterranean Sea provided that Cairo respects the borders of Ankara's continental shelf and relations between the countries improve, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

    "We positively assess Egypt's steps – they are conducting their seismic research, not entering our waters. The fact that Egypt respects the borders of our shelf is positive. Depending on the condition of our bilateral ties with Egypt, Turkey may negotiate maritime demarcation in Eastern Mediterranean," Cavusoglu told journalists in Ankara.

    In November 2019, Turkey signed a deal with the Tripoli-based Libyan government to appropriate the lion's share of the Mediterranean waters that Greece considers a part of its exclusive economic zone. Greece accused Turkey of the violation of its sovereignty after Ankara published a map that demonstrated that Turkey had taken a significant part of Athens' maritime territory.

    In August, Greece signed an agreement with Egypt on the delimitation of an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara immediately slammed the agreement as "null and void," arguing that the delimited area belonged to the Turkish continental shelf, and responded by resuming seismic research in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Greece, Mevlut Cavusoglu, zone, maritime, Egypt, Turkey
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