Greek FM Criticises Turkey-Libya Energy Deal

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On Friday, Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias reiterated his criticism of the recently signed energy agreement between Turkey and Libya. The deal allows Turkey to explore for oil and gas in a contested maritime zone, in the eastern Mediterranean

In a video message during a conference on energy and security held in Athens, Dendias said the 2019 agreement – “defied not only basic international law, but also fundamental principles of geography.”

“We were happy to see that many states have come out to denounce it immediately,” the Greek FM added.

Libya and Turkey signed a series of economic agreements that included potential energy exploration in maritime areas. The agreements will allow for oil and gas exploration in Libyan waters, and come three years after the two countries signed a maritime border deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said after signing the MoU in Tripoli.

Notably, Egyptian FM, Sameh Shoukry said that the “outgoing” GNU in Tripoli has been illegitimate since 24 December, and has no right to sign international agreements.

He urged the United Nations to announce its position on the legitimacy of the outgoing Libyan government. “We confirm the necessity of holding elections in Libya, and supporting the efforts of the Libyan Parliament,” he added.

The MoU could fuel tensions and may lead to an open conflict between Ankara and Athens, according to the Politico newspaper.

Dendias accused Turkey of exploiting “the turbulent situation in Libya to further destabilize security in the Mediterranean region, and establish a regional hegemony.”

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned that his forces could “come down suddenly one night.” Interpreting this as a direct threat to Greek islands, Dendias warned allies that they would need to crack down on Ankara or risk another Ukraine crisis.