The Greek government has submitted a bill to parliament to extend the western limit of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles, following negotiations with its regional neighbours Italy and Albania.

The bill, submitted late on Friday and expected to be voted later this month, would extend Greece’s western territorial waters from six nautical miles currently.

Greece and Italy have already signed an agreement on maritime boundaries establishing an exclusive economic zone in the Ionian Sea.

Athens and Tirana have yet to agree all details of their maritime boundary and have referred the issue to the International Court of Justice.

The Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, met with his Greek counterpart, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, a few hours before the bill was taken to parlianment.

“This draft legislation confirms Greece’s strategy of seeking agreements with neighbouring countries, based always on international law and promoting security and prosperity in the region” Nikos Dendias said.

The bill would not affect waters in the Aegean, off Greece’s southern and eastern coasts where Athens has been in dispute with its NATO ally Turkey over maritime boundaries.

Source: Reuters