Ankara says Greece-Egypt deal on eastern Mediterranean ‘null, void’
A maritime border agreement for the eastern Mediterranean signed by Egypt and Greece is “null and void,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on late Aug. 6.
The text and map of the maritime deal on exclusive economic zones (EEZ) had yet to be revealed, but, “it’s obvious by the given coordinates that the deal not only violates the rights and continental shelf of Turkey but also of Libya,” Çavuşoğlu told Anadolu Agency.
“Hence, an agreement that violates our continental shelf, which we have reported to the UN, is null and void and the reason why we’ve come to this point is that countries like Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, are trying to sign agreements with Egypt and Israel while ignoring Turkey,” he stated.
Turkey will “continue to show them and the world that this agreement is null and void on the table and in the field,” the minister added.
In a separate statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry asserted that Greece and Egypt had no mutual sea border and that the deal was “null and void” for Ankara. “It is without a doubt that Turkey will not allow any activity in the area in question and will resolutely continue to defend its legitimate rights and interests as well as those of the Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” said the statement. “Egypt, which surrendered an area of 11,500 kilometers square with the so-called agreement it signed with the Greek Cypriot administration in 2003, once again suffers losses at the expense of the Egyptian people with this move,” said the ministry.
Egypt announced on Aug. 6 that it signed a bilateral agreement with Greece on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions between the two countries in the eastern Mediterranean. The deal comes as Ankara announced it will launch new energy exploration licenses in the eastern Mediterranean, a move sharply criticized by Greece and the European Union.
However, Ankara suspended its decision to start drillings in the area as a goodwill gesture for ongoing negotiations with Greece.
Libya reacts against deal
In the meantime, the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya late Thursday condemned a maritime demarcation deal between Greece and Egypt in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Libya will not allow violations of its maritime rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Al-Qablawi said on Twitter.
Al-Qablawi reiterated Libya’s commitment to a memorandum of understanding concerning the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction signed with Turkey late 2019.