Greece Decries Turkey-Libya Energy Deal at UN

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Greek Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maria Theofili
Greek Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maria Theofili

Greece has formally denounced the new energy MoU signed between Ankara and Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU) in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

Greek Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maria Theofili noted in the letter that Greece maintains all its rights under international law.

“Athens calls on Libya and Turkey to respect Greece’s sovereign rights, and to refrain from any action that may violate those rights and destabilize peace and security in the region,” the letter said, according to Greece’s newspaper EKathimerini.

The letter added that Greece “rejects the new Turkish-Libyan hydrocarbons memorandum, as it violates Greece’s sovereign rights and international law. It is also a deliberate escalation that undermines stability in the region.”

The Greek diplomat also reiterated Athens’s strong “commitment to resolving any delimitation issue with neighbouring countries in the eastern Mediterranean by peaceful means, in good faith, and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Theofili stressed that the new Turkish-Libya memorandum is “in complete contradiction with the 2020 roadmap for the resolution of the Libyan conflict.” According to the roadmap, the foreign policy of the Libyan state should be conducted in a manner that observes friendly and peaceful relations with regional and international partners, and in accordance with the rules of good neighbourliness and mutual interests.

Greece notified Guterres that the current Libyan government in Tripoli “has no right to proceed with any agreement that binds subsequent, democratically elected governments.”

Theofili also stressed that the MoU has been “opposed by international actors, states in the region and beyond, and high-ranking officials within the Libyan institutions.”

The MoU allows Turkish companies to carry out exploratory drilling for oil and natural gas. “The agreement 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.