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Cyprus Decries Turkey-Libya Maritime Border Deal

Αssociated press

President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NICOSIA  — Cyprus’ foreign ministry has decried an agreement between Turkey and Libya’s U.N.-backed government to delineate the maritime boundaries between the two countries as a serious breach of international law that disregards the lawful rights of other eastern Mediterranean countries.

The ministry said Friday a Memorandum of Understanding the two countries signed has no legal validity and can’t undermine the rights of Cyprus or other coastal states.

It said Turkey’s “distortion” of international law doesn’t afford it any legal rights and demonstrates that Ankara is alone in its views.

Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and is conducting exploratory gas drilling in waters where the ethnically divided island nation has exclusive economic rights. Ankara says it’s defending its rights and those of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to regional energy reserves.