Greece Denounces Turkey-Libya Maritime Deal in Mediterranean

Αssociated Press

FILE- A female Cypriot soldier on an armored pass in from of a Cyprus flag during a military parade marking the 59 years celebrations of independence in Nicosia in the divided island of Cyprus, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

ATHENS - Coming after it claimed parts of the Aegean Sea belonging to Greece, Turkey’s deal with Libya setting boundaries in the Mediterranean drew fast fire from Greece which said it was “completely unacceptable.”

Greece’s Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish Ambassador Burak Ozugergin to explain, said Kathimerini, as the Libyan agreement came a day after Turkey sent to the United Nations its claims to to have maritime zones and a continental shelf west of the 28th meridian (south of Rhodes), ignoring the Dodecanese chain of islands.

The memorandum of understanding on the “delimitation of maritime jurisdictions” was signed in Constantinople by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the paper said.

“This means protecting Turkey’s rights deriving from international law,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said as his country stepped up maritime provocations after having already sent energy drill ships into Cyprus’ sovereign waters.

“The signing by Turkey and Libya of a memorandum of understanding cannot violate the sovereign rights of third countries,” ministry spokesman Alexandros Gennimatas said in a statement.

“Such an action would be a flagrant violation of the International Law of the Sea and would produce no legal effect,” he said, adding it would also “not be consistent with the principle of good-neighborliness, which should govern relations between neighboring states.”

Earlier, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias described the agreement between Turkey and Libya was “beyond all reason.” “Such an effort shows a complete lack of geographic knowledge, because it obviously ignores something that I think everyone can see – that between these two countries lies the large geographical land area of Crete,” Dendias said. “Any such effort verges on the ridiculous,” he added, the report also said.