Greek and Egyptian foreign ministers slam Turkish-Libyan maritime energy deal as ‘illegal’

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The foreign ministers of Greece and Egypt met in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the recent signing of preliminary maritime energy and gas deals between Turkey and Libya’s government of national unity.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shukry, focused on the Turkish-Libyan agreements and stressed they were a threat to regional stability.

“This agreement threatens stability and security in the Mediterranean,” Dendias said.

The deals, signed last week in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, include the joint exploration of hydrocarbon reserves in Libya’s offshore waters and national territory.

Dendias slammed the deals as “illegal and inadmissible,” saying they infringed on Greek waters. 

“Turkey seeks to take advantage of the turbulent situation in Libya in order to further destabilise the Mediterranean region and establish regional hegemony,” the Greek foreign minister said.

“We will use all legal means to defend our rights.”

For his part, the Egyptian foreign minister said Dbeibah, the leader of one of two competing governments in divided Libya, has no authority to conclude such deals given that its mandate expired following Libya’s failure to hold nationwide elections in December last year.

Shukry called for the UN to take “a clear position” on the legitimacy of Dbeibah’s government, saying the international body “should not keep silent.”

According to AP News, the two ministers also discussed developments in the Aegean Sea, in reference to recent tensions with Turkey.

Turkey’s latest memorandum with Libya follows an agreement it signed three years ago with Tripoli that demarcated the countries’ shared maritime borders. This was also slammed by Greece, Egypt and Cyprus at the time as a violation of their economic rights.

Source: AP News.

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