EU to condemn Turkey-Libya maritime border accord

12 December 2019
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The Council of the European Union is expected to condemn the accord between Libya and Turkey mapping out maritime boundaries calling it a violation of international law in a resolution expressing clear support to Greece, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsitakis will be in Brussels Thursday taking part in the EU Summit, where he is expected to raise the issue to his EU colleagues.

Greece last week expelled the Libyan ambassador in response to the agreement, infuriated at a pact which skirts the Greek island of Crete and infringes, in Athens’s view, its continental shelf.

“The Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States (and) does not comply with the (U.N.) Law of the Sea,” EU leaders will say, according to the draft statement prepared for a two-day summit from Thursday.

The deal between Ankara and Tripoli carves out a slanting sea corridor of maritime boundaries at the closest points between Libya and Turkey, potentially clearing the way for oil and gas search there.

“The European Council unequivocally reaffirms its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding these actions by Turkey,” the draft said.

Greece has lodged its objections to the United Nations over the accord between Libya and Turkey, saying the pact could affect implementation of the Libyan agreement brokered by the UN in 2015 to end years of fighting in the North African country.

Meanwhile, the UN has kept an equal distance on the dispute, as the deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General said Wednesday the UN did not take a position on the matter.

“I can confirm that we received that letter on 9 December, and it’s being studied. Regarding the Secretariat’s views, the Secretariat doesn’t take a position or provide comments in relation to matters concerning the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of member states over their maritime spaces,” Farhan Haq told journalists in a regular press briefing.

Source: reuters

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