Islands and Mainland Have Same Rights to EEZ, Continental Shelf Says US State Dept Spokesperson

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON - An agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea signed by Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya is "unproductive" and "provocative," a US State Department spokesperson commented, adding that Ankara’s claims are contrary to international law, which stipulates that islands have the same rights as mainland regions to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.

Responding to a question from the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday, the official said that "decisions that fail to take into account the interests of all the interested states are unhelpful [and] provocative."

"Greece has overlapping maritime claims in the area that is included in the Turkey-Libya memorandum," the spokesperson said, adding that it is a standing US policy to encourage states to resolve their problems in a peaceful way and in accordance with international law.

In statements to the website Hellas Journal and Greek public broadcaster ERT, the spokesperson asked for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish-backed Syrian fighters and Russian mercenaries from Libya.