Turkey, Libya express commitment to maritime accord for east Med

Turkey, Libya express commitment to maritime accord for east Med

Turkey, Libya express commitment to maritime accord for east Med

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 12 said Turkey and Libya’s new unity government were committed to the maritime demarcation agreement in the eastern Mediterranean.

“The memorandum of understanding [MOU] we signed with Libya on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas secures both countries’ national interests and future,” Erdoğan said, speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah of Libya’s new unity government.

“My noble brother Mr. Dbeibah has repeatedly announced that this MOU is in accordance with the interests of Libya; anything beyond that is empty words in our view. Today, we have reaffirmed our determination in this regard,” he added.

The president emphasized that the support Turkey provided to Libya as per the MOU on security and cooperation prevented the fall of Tripoli and thwarted new massacres while also enabling a ceasefire.

“In Libya, we must now focus on healing the wounds, on reconstruction, development and on our Libyan brothers and sisters’ prosperity. With its sound institutional structure and strong private sector, Turkey will provide every kind of support for the reconstruction of Libya’s infrastructure and superstructure,” he stated.

Erdoğan noted that 150,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be delivered from Turkey to Libya on April 13.

Dbeibah for his part stressed that the MOU between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas was to the benefit of both countries.

“With regard to the agreements signed between the two countries, especially the maritime ones, we confirm the validity of the frameworks on which these agreements were built and that they achieve the interests of both countries at the same time,” he stated.

Libya awaits great work in reconstruction and development, he said, adding that his country welcomes all Turkish companies and firms from friendly and brotherly countries to contribute to this matter.

Erdoğan and Dbeibah, who was accompanied by a large delegation of ministers, chaired the meeting of the Turkey-Libya High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Ankara and oversaw the signing of five agreements, including the construction of electricity plants, a new international airport in Tripoli and a shopping mall in Libya.

Libya’s new unity government was sworn in on March 15 from two warring administrations that had ruled eastern and western regions, completing a smooth transition of power after a decade of violent chaos.

Dbeibah was selected earlier this year through an U.N.-backed inter-Libyan dialogue to lead the country to national elections in December 2021.

Turkey had backed the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in its fight against the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which was supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France.

Turkey and the GNA had signed a military agreement alongside the maritime boundary deal, which gave Ankara more rights to explore energy in the Mediterranean in November 2019.

Visiting Libya last week, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias called for the maritime accord to be canceled as Athens opposed the maritime agreement between Tripoli and Ankara. On April 6, Greece reopened its embassy in Libya after seven years.

Turkey’s military backing to the GNA helped turn the tide of the war in favor of Tripoli.

The two leaders also signed a series of agreements before a press conference in the capital.

Meanwhile, foreign ministers of Libya, Malta and Turkey held a trilateral meeting on April. 12.

Diplomacy, Erdogan, Politics,