Libya slams Egypt-Greece maritime deal

Libya slams Egypt-Greece maritime deal, warns against violations of maritime rights
2 min read
Turkey's Foreign Ministry also slammed the 'so-called agreement' between Egypt and Greece.
The Egypt-Greece deal is a response to an earlier accord between Libya and Turkey [Getty]

Libya's UN-recognised government condemned a maritime demarcation deal agreed between Egypt and Greece late on Thursday.

The deal, which is seen as a response to an earlier agreement between Libya and Turkey, concerns maritime jurisdictions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Libya will not allow violations of its maritime rights,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed Al-Qablawi said on Twitter, adding that Tripoli remains committed to its memorandum of understanding with Turkey.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry also slammed the "so-called agreement", highlighting that Greece and Egypt have no mutual sea border.

In Libya's proxy war, Egypt has been on the opposite side from Turkey and has backed the rival administration based in eastern Libya and the east-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. Cairo claims Turkey is backing extremists on behalf of the UN-supported government in Tripoli.

With Turkish military support, the Tripoli government has repelled Haftar's 14-month-long military campaign to capture the Libyan capital. After Turkey turned the tide in the Libyan war, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi threatened a military incursion into Libya, leading to concerns of a direct Egyptian-Turkish confrontation.

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias hailed the Egypt-Greece deal as “an exemplary agreement." However, neither minister revealed any details of the deal.

“It is the complete opposite of the illegal, invalid and legally non-existent memorandum of understanding between Turkey and Tripoli,” Dendias added.

Turkey argues that Greek islands should not be included in calculating maritime zones of economic interest — a position Greece says violates international law. Greece has around 6,000 islands and smaller islets in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, more than 200 of them inhabited.

Last month, the Greek government was alarmed by plans by Turkey to proceed with an oil-and-gas research mission south of Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean.

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