Maritime Boundaries Mou Signed Between Turkey and Libya

BY Tiya Chatterji 29.Nov.2019

In a rather queer turn of events, Libya’s internationally recognized government and Turkey have signed an agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea that has potential to complicate Ankara’s disputes over energy exploration with other countries.

The agreement was signed at a meeting in Istanbul on Nov,27 between the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Fayez al-Serraj, the head of the Tripoli-based government which Ankara is backing against a rival military force based in eastern Libya. Turkey announced the vouchsafe and a deal on expanded security and military cooperation on Nov,28. No further details of their memorandum of understanding were released and no specifications were provided of where Turkish and Libyan waters meet.

This declaration lead to the prompt reaction by Greece with Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, to describe the deal as “completely unacceptable” and “beyond all reason.” Stressing that between Turkey and Libya “lies the large geographical volume of the island of Crete,” Dendias said “any effort ignoring the geography of the area verges on the ridiculous.” Tensions are already mounting high between Athens and Ankara owing to Turkish drilling in the eastern Mediterranean off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus, and the European Union has prepared sanctions against Turkey in response. The dispute has left Ankara searching for allies in the region

"This means protecting Turkey's rights deriving from international law," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said of the memorandum of understanding on the "delimitation of maritime jurisdictions". He said that such accords could be agreed with other countries if differences could be overcome and that Ankara was in favor of "fair sharing" of resources, including off Cyprus.