Turkish and Greek leaders to meet in London after Turkey’s deal with Libya

Turkish and Greek leaders to meet in London after Turkey’s deal with Libya

Turkish and Greek leaders to meet in London after Turkey’s deal with Libya

Turkish and Greek leaders will meet in London to discuss the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Dec. 3.

The meeting came on the heels of a recent deal between Turkey and Libya for maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.

“Yesterday, I have learned that the Greek prime minister (Kyriakos Mitsotakis) asked for a meeting with us in London. There, we will discuss all of these issues,” Erdoğan said, speaking before his departure to the NATO Summit in London.

Greece might take some steps following Turkey’s deal with Libya, but Turkey keeps its right to take steps as well, Erdoğan stated. “With regards to this issue, most probably Libya can even withdraw its ambassador,” the president noted.

Whatever Greece, Egypt and Greek Cyprus steps up in retaliation to Turkey’s move, Ankara will pursue its determination to protect its sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean, he said.

“Whatever Greece, Egypt and Greek Cyprus do will not affect the step we have taken with Libya. We have already sealed our agreement with Libya.”

Now, the memorandum of understanding signed with Libya will be approved by the Turkish Parliament and will enter in force.

On Nov. 27, “The Security and Military Cooperation” and “Restriction of Marine Jurisdictions” agreements were signed when President Erdoğan met with Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the Tripoli-based government which Ankara is backing against a rival military force based in eastern Libya.

The memorandum between Turkey and Libya determines the portion of Turkey’s maritime jurisdictions in the region.
Libya’s neighbor, Egypt, dismissed the deal as “illegal,” and Greece said any such accord would be geographically absurd because it ignored the presence of the Greek island of Crete between the coasts of Turkey and Libya.

Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis said he will raise the recently inked memorandum of understanding between Turkey and Libya during the NATO Summit.

The mere presence of the Meis Island -- or, Kastellorizo -- across the Turkish mainland could not have any effect on Ankara’s maritime territories contrary to the arguments of Greece and the Greek Cypriots, according to Turkey’s argument.

“The islands which lie on the opposite side of the median line between two mainlands cannot create maritime jurisdiction areas beyond their territorial waters and that the length and direction of the coasts should be taken into account in delineating maritime jurisdiction areas,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Dec. 1 in a written statement.