Tag Archives: Mediterranean

NATO: Greek delegation walks out

20.02.2020 AMENDMENT. Upon the request of NATO press office the information below is amended. Herewith is the received quote: “Acting President Attila Mesterhazy was not chairing the meeting and therefore did not ‘interrupt’ the discussion at any point.
We kindly ask you to correct your article and replace his name with ‘chairperson’ who will remain unnamed.

20.02.20 16:30 II AMENDMENT: During telephone conversation with Europe Diplomatic Magazine Marietta Giannakou named the chair of the meeting Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. “Lord Campbell prevented us to express our opinion” Marietta Giannakou said. She was at the point to leave Brussels, and promised to send a statement as soon as she arrives to Greece.

ORIGINAL INFORMATION:

19.02.2020 The Greek delegation walked out of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels on February 19 in protest at the stance of new acting president Attila Mesterhazy (pictured: from left to right Attila Mesterhazy, Jens Stoltenberg).

The incident took place as the five-member Greek delegation, which is made up of lawmakers from the country’s main political parties, were raising the issue of the contentious Turkey-Libya maritime boundaries agreement and Turkey’s violations of international law and Greek sovereign rights.

In a joint statement, the members of the delegation said that the president had been systematically interrupting their speech, leading them to withdraw in protest.

The delegation was made up of Marietta Giannakou from ruling New Democracy, Manousos Voloudakis, Theodora Tzakri and Marios Katsis from SYRIZA, and Andreas Loverdos from the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance.

20.02.2020 AMENDMENT. Upon the request of NATO press office the information above is amended. Herewith is the received quote: “Acting President Attila Mesterhazy was not chairing the meeting and therefore did not ‘interrupt’ the discussion at any point.
We kindly ask you to correct your article and replace his name with ‘chairperson’ who will remain unnamed.

Italy receives hundreds of migrants

A vessel with 363 migrants on board, operated by Spanish charity Open Arms has received the permission to dock in Sicilian port of Pozzallo. (Image above: illustration).

Earlier on February 1, the charity announced that they have storage of food for another two days as it remained stranded in the Mediterranean hundreds of migrants on board.

Italian media outlet Rai later reported that they would be distributed across the EU, as laid out in an EU agreement on settling migrants and refugees rescued in the Mediterranean, however there were no further details provided about the countries who agreed to receive them.

Boats operated by non-profit groups have transported over 600 migrants in the Mediterranean within a week. The 403 migrants rescued by the Ocean Viking have disembarked in Italy.

The migrants aboard the Ocean Viking disembarked in Taranto, southern Italy. Among them were 216 men, 38 women and 149 children, mostly from Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea, according to the two organizations that run the ship, SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF). Twelve of the women were pregnant, government officials reported.

The Ocean Viking had picked up the migrants in five different rescue operations in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast since end January. One woman and her three children had already been evacuated to Malta because of medical issues.

EU opposes Turkey drillings

“Following the latest announcement by Turkish Authorities that the drilling ship Yavuz is going to be dispatched for a new drilling operation, the EU recalls its position concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone” reads the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“Concrete steps towards creating an environment conducive to dialogue in good faith are needed. The intention by Turkey to launch further exploration and drilling activities in the wider region goes, regrettably, in the opposite direction.

“The international law of the sea, the principle of good neighbourly relations and the sovereignty and sovereign rights over the maritime zones of all Member States have to be respected. All members of the international community must abide by these principles and should refrain from any actions undermining regional stability and security.

Mavrides denounces Turkey-GNA deal

Anna van Densky Strasbourg Planned joint conference “Turkey-Tripoli GNA Memorandum as threat to EU security” of the Chair of the Delegation on the Mediterranean Kostas MAVRIDES MEP (S&D, CY), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Interim government of Libya Abdulhadi LAHWEEJ  could not proceed as planned because of the degradation of the security situation in Benghazi,preventing the Libyan guest to come to the European Parliament, Strasbourg. The planes in Benina Benghazi Airport were destroyed or highjacked by Al-Sarraj militia, the high diplomat said.

However the Minister LAHWEEJ has send his statement in written to express the rejection of two Memoranda sealed recently between Tripoli administration and Turkey.

The two agreements are rejected by Libyan Parliament and the Interim government for two major reasons – the “unconstitutional” nature of Al-Wefaq gorvernment, which did not gain the support of the Libyan Parliament .

According to the Skhirat Agreement the mandate of the reconciliation government in Tripoli was given for one year, and it has expired long ago.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) violates the Law of Sea signed in Jamaica in 1982 between two countries that do not have common borders, and more seriously,threatens our friendly relations between neighbouring countries of Libya – Greece, Cyprus, Egypt. Accordingly, the two memoranda of understanding (MoU) are cancelled and have not entered into effect. In view of one of its parties, Libya has not completed its required legal procedures” Minister LAHWEEJ stated.

In general, I strongly believe that the time has come for the EU to reconsider our position. Turkey is a neo-ottoman regime with aggressive policies that go against European values and Rule of Law, but also against our strategic interests in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. The AKP Administration of Turkey is committing crimes against humanity inside and outside Turkey and supporting jihadist regimes, just like with the Tripoli regime and Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt MAVRIDES MEP said.

The European Union has to defend its vital security and economic interests vigorously, in line with EU and International Law by imposing strict economic measures towards Turkey, without attempting to ignore the assertiveness of Ankara, its military build up in the Mediterranean, and increasing contempt to the international law” he added.

Tripoli administration Al-Wefaq sealed two memoranda with Turkey – the first one on demarcation of the maritime border, and the second memo on security and military cooperation, – both of them rejected by the Interim government of Libya in unanimity with people’s representatives in the Parliament.

EU measures against Turkey drilling

This week the European Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures in response to Turkey‘s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. The framework will make it possible to sanction individuals or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The sanctions will consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities will be forbidden from making funds available to those listed.

Stromboli eruption safety concerns

Italy Stromboli volcano in Mediterranean  has erupted for the second time in two months, sending huge plumes of smoke and forming ash clouds in the air.

No injuries have been reported on the island, though local officials have advised tourists and nearby residents to remain cautious. As the eruption occurred, witnesses to the event took some incredible footage.

 Stromboli erupted in what local authorities in Italy considered might be classified a “paroxysmal event.” This is where a pyroclastic flow — a rapid moving plume of gas, rock, and volcanic ash — is shot out from the volcano. Italy‘s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the smoke plume reached a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

Elena Schiera, who enjoyed sailing on a boat with her family near the island when the volcano erupted, shared several videos of their escape from the cloud of smoke. “All of a sudden we heard a loud bang and saw a large black cloud spewing out of the Stromboli crater and pouring into the sea,” she told CNN.

 

Mare Jonio: Salvini refuses migrant entry

Italian Interior minister Matteo Salvini signed an order banning the Mare Jonio migrant transportation vessel from entering  national waters. The order refuses the Mare Jonio from entering, transiting or stopping in Italian waters, according to Lega party closed ports policy for NGO ships operating in Mediterranean to provide migrants from Libya coasts with reliable and effective transport to navigate to European ports.

Mediterranea Saving Humans, the Italian NGO running the ship, said the Italian coast guard had asked the authorities to offer a safe port for the vessel.
Mediterranea Saving Humans said its request for instructions regarding the rescue of 98 migrants by its Mare Ionio ship to the Italian sea rescue coordination center was responded ”as usual”, redirecting to the Libyan authorities.
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Mare Jonio completed the boarding of the 98 people from a dinghy that had been drifting off Libya. Among passengers there are 26 women, at least 8 of whom claim they are pregnant, 22 children under age 10 and at least six people claiming they are minors.

There are 500 million Africans without birth certificate or other identity document, according to the World Bank. Therefore it is impossible to establish their identities. European governments have adopted practice of attributing a fictitious date of birth to African migrants to integrate them into societies, and open access to social systems.

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