Turkey foreign minister slams Greece for expelling Libyan ambassador

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Turkey foreign minister slams Greece for expelling Libyan ambassador 1

Turkey’s foreign minister has accused Greece of threatening Libya after Athens expelled the Libyan ambassador over an accord the maps out Turkish maritime boundaries in areas claimed by Greece.

Greece said on Friday it was expelling the Libyan ambassador over the Nov. 27 accord, which maps out a sea boundary between Turkey and Libya close to the Greek island of Crete, Reuters reported.

Mohamed Younis AB Menfi had 72 hours to leave the country, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told a news briefing.

Dendias called the accord signed between Turkey and the UN-recognised government in Tripoli a “blatant violation of international law”, Reuters said.

But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu accused the Greek government of threatening Libya and expelling the ambassador because he did not hand over a copy of the accord.

“This (agreement) is no secret. Could we keep a bill that passes our parliament hidden?” Çavuşoğlu said. “If you call up Libya and threaten to expel their ambassador if they don’t hand over a document, then, of course, they won’t comply. If they’d asked properly either Libya or we would have handed it over.”

Greece accuses the Turkish-Libyan accord of violating the international law of the sea by claiming Turkey and Libya are maritime neighbors and ignoring Greek territorial waters around several of its islands, including Crete. The memorandum of understanding was approved by the Turkish parliament on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that Turkey would not make any compromise on the agreement, which sees Turkey and Libya as maritime neighbors.

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