Dbaiba: We will Defend Libya’s Right to Its Territorial Waters

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Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba said his government will “defend Libya’s right to our territorial waters, and southern Crete.”

In a televised speech after signing an energy deal with Turkey, Dbaiba said Greece denounced the deal because it “wants the Libyans to forget the dispute with it regarding the island of Crete”

“We have problems with some countries. There are also cases that are still being heard by the courts regarding the subordination of Crete. I assure you that we will not give up our right to southern Crete,” Dbaiba noted.

He also defended the recent deal with Turkey. “The agreement is based on the principles of equality and mutual respect for common interests, and their development in the field of hydrocarbons, which includes oil and gas and its derivatives,” Dbaiba said.

On Monday, Libya and Turkey signed several economic agreements that included potential energy exploration in maritime areas, Mevlut Cavusoğlu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said.

The agreements will allow for oil and gas exploration in Libyan waters. This comes three years after the two countries signed a maritime border deal.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a statement that it was following the developments in Libya “very closely.” The statement added that Greece “holds sovereign rights in the area, which it intends to defend by all legal means, in full respect to the International Law of the Sea.”

Dendias added that Athens was content to see that the EU, US, Germany, and Egypt have come out publicly to denounce Turkey’s recent moves in Libya.

“They have underlined that the current Tripoli administration has no mandate to sign international agreements. The MoU’s are illegal, null and void,” Dendias said during a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart, Spraw Zagranicznych.