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Politics

Backing Greece, EU Lawmakers Want Turkey-Libya Seas Deal Off

November 25, 2022

ATHENS – Turkey’s deal with Libya dividing the seas between them, which led Turkey to say it would hunt for oil and gas off Greek islands, should be nullified, the European Parliament said in a symbolic vote.

The EU lawmakers have no standing in the issue but sided with Greece, which countered that agreement by making one of its with Egypt as the rush for energy in the seas has intensified.

In late 2019, Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with Libya to demarcate maritime zones, a move that brought immediate blowback from Greece and Egypt, as well as Cyprus, where Turkey is drilling offshore and ignoring soft European Union sanctions.

The European Commission and the EU Council have repeatedly condemned the Turkey-Libya MoU as unlawful and the EU Parliament called it to be annulled, which was ignored by Turkey and Libya.

By a vote of 454-130 and 54 people refusing to take a stand, EU lawmakers also demanded to end to all foreign interventions on Libyan territory, while asking Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to withdraw troops from the country, reported EURACTIV.

But it also wants a special EU envoy for Libya to be appointed as a matter of priority, as well as a roadmap for holding free and fair elections as that country has split governments, with the west supporting a faction in Tripoli and Greece and other countries backing rebels in Benghazi.

The vote after the signing of the Greece-Egypt agreement on the definition of Search and Rescue areas, recognizing that the area south of Crete and the Eastern Aegean up to the Egyptian coast is exclusively controlled by those two countries.

Since 2011, the EU has invested some 700 million euros($729 million) in Libya, for matters including development, aid and controversial security and Coast Guard projects, the site’s report also added.

 

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