Turkey Libya Gas Agreement

Last year, Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) secured a memorandum of understanding on the delimitation of their maritime borders. The agreement, which would allow them to use large areas of the Mediterranean and potential energy resources, has been denounced by Greece, Cyprus and other countries. Ankara also signed a defense deal last week aimed at strengthening forces controlled by Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj`s government in Tripoli, with the capital under attack by eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar. Turkey`s main opposition party, the CHP, backed the deal, but Haluk Koc, a senior CHP official, said Turkey was at political risk because of Sarraj`s “fragile” situation in Libya. The provisional agreement of November 27 marks an 18.6 nautical mile (35 kilometer) line that will form the maritime border that separates the respective exclusive economic zones of the two countries. Libya`s Presidential Council and Turkish parliament have approved the memorandum of understanding, Anadolu Agency said friday. It is now expected to be submitted to the United Nations. In particular, it is found that Turkey and Libya have no common waters, or at least are not neighboring states, and that an agreement is therefore ineffective. Criticism comes mainly from Greece and its regional energy and security allies, Greek Cyprus and Israel, but also from the European Union. Turkey and the GNA also signed an agreement on security and military cooperation last year. Earlier this year, Turkey sent troops, Syrian mercenaries and other military backers to help the GNA repel an attack by rival eastern-based Libyan National Army and turn the tide of the conflict. The signed agreement put a brake on Greece`s illegal maritime policy.

As a result, Greece deported the Libyan ambassador as persona non grata and the Greek foreign minister travelled to Libya to meet with the putschist general Khalifa Haftar, who is trying to gain authoritarian control over all of Libya and is therefore not recognised by the United Communities. The international community will not be persuaded by these arguments. Nor will it prevent people from thinking that Turkey is in breach of international maritime legislation and agreements. But that doesn`t mean Turkey is about to move. It shall be open to any country to conclude bilateral and multilateral agreements, unless their scope is contrary to international law and the national law of third countries, or at least affects them. . . .

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