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Meeting of Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, with the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias

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The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Italy and Greece met today in Rome to discuss their excellent bilateral relations, migration issues, Libya crisis, recent developments in Eastern Mediterranean and energy related issues.

On migration, the Ministers agreed that next months will be crucial for relaunching the EU Asylum System’s reform negotiations, whose goal should be reaching an agreement among Member States on fair and structural solutions, suitable to prevent and properly manage the flows that may originate from the unstable EU Neighborhood.

On the latest development in the Eastern Mediterranean and energy related issues, the two Ministers reiterated the overarching principle that only through a genuine and good faith cooperation natural resources in the Mediterranean will benefit all peoples living in the region.

The two Ministers therefore reaffirmed their commitment to fully unleash the Eastern Mediterranean’s energy potential, and to actively promote cooperation at the regional level, also in their capacity as founding members of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum and partners in the Southern Gas Corridor.  In this wider framework, both countries reiterated their acknowledgement of the EastMed pipeline as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) at a broader EU level.

In the same vein, the two Ministers concurred that delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations. In this respect, and in a spirit of mutual understanding, the two Ministers reconfirmed the will to revamp the negotiations on a bilateral agreement aimed  at delimitating the respective maritime zones expeditiously.

The two Ministers also reiterated that the Memorandum of understanding signed by Libya and Turkey on the delimitation of the continental shelf is unacceptable, infringes upon the sovereign rights of third states, does not comply with the law of the sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third states. [Dec, 2019 E.C.] It is only through a genuine and good faith cooperation, that natural resources in the Mediterranean will benefit all peoples living in the region.