Greece’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations has delivered a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres demanding the Security Council condemn Turkey and Libya’s memorandum of understanding setting out a shared maritime border between the two countries.
The eastern Mediterranean area covered in the agreement extends over areas claimed by Greece. Greek Ambassador Marai Theofili said it was legally void as it “blatantly violates the rules of the International Law of the Sea” because “Turkey and Libya have neither overlapping maritime zones, nor common boundaries and, consequently, there is no legal basis to lawfully conclude a maritime delimitation agreement.
In the letter shared by Greek journalist Yannis Koutsomitis, Theofili went on to call the agreement hypocritical for ignoring Greece’s claims to sovereignty over areas off Rhodes, Crete and other islands on the basis that islands in the eastern Mediterranean do not have weight to determine maritime boundaries.
The “drafters of this agreement have used Turkish islands and rocks as base points for the construction” for the equidistance line laid out in the pact, she said.
The memorandum is also legally void since it has not been endorsed by Libya’s House of Representatives, and was unequivocally rejected by its president, Aguila Saleh Issa, in a letter to the UN Secretary General, Theofili said.
Turkey signed the pact with the UN-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli, which Ankara backs. But Libya is still mired in conflict between that government and General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, which controls the east of the country.
Erdoğan said on Monday the pact was valid according to international law, adding that Turkey and Libya may begin joint exploration for energy resources in the areas it covers. On Tuesday, he said Turkey might send forces to Libya since the Russian mercenary company Wagner had sent its own units to support the Libyan National Army.
Theofili said the latest moves by Turkey were endangering regional peace and stability and asked the UN Security Council to “condemn the conclusion of the said memorandum which blatantly contravenes international legality and call on the two states concerned to refrain from any action that would violate the sovereign rights of Greece.”