The Lausanne Agreement Ending: A Historic Moment in Diplomatic Relations
On April 24, 2021, the world witnessed a historic moment in diplomatic relations as the Lausanne Agreement officially ended, marking the conclusion of a nearly 30-year dispute between Greece and Turkey.
The Lausanne Agreement, signed in 1923, had established the borders of modern Turkey and recognized Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) as its capital. However, the agreement did not specify the status of several Aegean islands, leading to a longstanding dispute between Greece and Turkey over sovereignty and maritime borders.
The dispute escalated in 1996 when Greece and Turkey almost went to war over the islet of Imia/Kardak. Since then, both countries have engaged in a series of discussions, negotiations, and interventions aimed at finding a solution to the conflict.
The latest round of talks began in 2016 and led to the signing of the Lausanne Agreement Ending on March 12, 2021. The agreement, reached under the auspices of the United Nations, reaffirmed the sovereignty of both Greece and Turkey over their respective territories and recognized their rights to explore and exploit the natural resources in their exclusive economic zones.
The Lausanne Agreement Ending also established a mechanism for the delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones in the Aegean Sea, with the aim of enhancing cooperation in the shared maritime zone.
The agreement was hailed as a significant step towards establishing stability and security in the region and improving bilateral relations between Greece and Turkey. The European Union, which had been closely monitoring the negotiations, also welcomed the agreement and called for its full implementation.
However, the Lausanne Agreement Ending is not without its challenges. Both Greece and Turkey have domestic pressures that could threaten the implementation of the agreement. In Greece, some politicians and citizens are still wary of Turkey`s intentions, while in Turkey, some groups are opposed to any compromise on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Moreover, the agreement does not address the broader geopolitical issues that have fueled the dispute between Greece and Turkey, such as the conflict in Syria, the presence of refugees, and the role of external actors.
In conclusion, the Lausanne Agreement Ending is a significant achievement in diplomatic relations between Greece and Turkey and a testament to the effectiveness of multilateral negotiations. However, its success depends on the commitment and cooperation of both countries and their ability to address the broader issues that have fueled the dispute.