Egypt’s declaration of a maritime border does not affect Türkiye
The lateral maritime boundary line with Libya, announced unilaterally by Egypt on Dec. 11 with nine geographic coordinates, does not overlap with Türkiye’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.
It is not clear which method was used for the delimitation of this boundary line or whether special/relevant geographical circumstances were taken into account, or the principle of equity was fully respected, sources said on condition of anonymity.
They also said that the declared boundary line seems to violate Libya’s continental shelf rights as it was drawn in the west of the median line between the mainland coasts of those two countries.
The Libyan side made a statement on Dec. 16 to the effect that their rights are violated by Egypt’s presidential decree, sources noted.
Emphasizing that the said boundary line was not agreed upon through bilateral negotiations between Libya and Egypt, sources emphasized that Türkiye favors launching dialogue and negotiations between Egypt and Libya as soon as possible for the delimitation of their boundary in accordance with international law, and, within this framework, application of all peaceful means as stipulated in Article 33 of the U.N. Charter, including the International Court of Justice, based on mutual consent.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree demarcating the western maritime borders of Egypt. The decision stipulates that the borders of the territorial sea of Egypt start from the Egyptian-Libyan land border point one for a distance of 12 nautical miles up to point eight.
Then the western maritime border line of Egypt starts from point eight in a northerly direction parallel to the meridian 25 east to point nine, the decree said.
In 2019, Türkiye and Libya sealed a maritime demarcation deal for their boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean waters.
In response, Egypt and Greece signed an agreement in August 2020, designating an EEZ in the eastern Mediterranean between the two countries.
The ties between Türkiye and Egypt deteriorated after Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, toppled the country’s former president, Mohammed Morsi, in a coup after only a year in office.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier revealed the resumption of talks between the two countries’ intelligence services, and he recently had a brief meeting with the Egyptian president in Qatar.