Greece, Egypt angered by Libya-Turkey maritime cooperation MoU

A moonbird shot for the operation. [Photo: Sea-Watch International]

Turkey has signed MoUs for security and maritime cooperation with Libya, which has inflamed Mediterranean geopolitics as Greece and Egypt were among those to voice vehement objections, for their own interests.

Two deals signed by Turkey and the internationally recognized government in Libya on maritime boundaries and military cooperation have angered their regional neighbors, ratcheting up tension in the Mediterranean over energy resources.

The timing of the deals comes at a moment in the Libyan conflict when Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), is still pushing back the eight-month assault on Tripoli by the eastern forces of Khalifa Haftar.

Fahrettin Altun, communication director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, tweeted this week that the military agreement would “improve the security situation for the Libyan people.” However, details of the memorandums, signed Wednesday, have yet to be released.

The Turkish outlet Daily Sabah said the country’s maritime borders with its “neighbor” now extend from Turkey’s southwest coast to the Derna-Tobruk coast of Libya — a notion rejected by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias as “verging on the ridiculous” as it “ignores something that is blatantly obvious,” namely the island of Crete.

Egypt, Haftar’s supporter in all his military operations against civilians in Libya, also criticized the agreement, calling it “illegal.”

Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Friday asked Libya’s ambassador to Greece to present a copy of the agreement his country signed with Turkey on maritime boundaries by December 5, or risk being expelled from the country.

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