Turkey-Libya delimitation deal ‘unhelpful and provocative’ says US

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The maritime delimitation MoU signed between Turkey and the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) is unhelpful and provocative as it raises tensions in the region, the US State Department said.

“While the United States generally does not take a position on other states’ maritime boundary disputes, we call on all parties to refrain from all actions that risk heightening tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean at this sensitive time,” said a State Department official.

“These developments highlight the risk of the Libyan conflict taking on wider regional dimensions and the urgent need for all interested parties to work toward a negotiated solution.  In particular, the announcement of a signed Turkish-GNA delimitation memorandum of understanding has raised tensions in the region and is unhelpful and provocative,” he added.

Last week Turkey and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding on the delimitation of maritime boundaries, provoking a strong reaction from Egypt, Greece and Cyprus.

The Cypriot Foreign Ministry called it “a grave violation of International Law since it would disregard the legal rights of all coastal states in the Eastern Mediterranean and was contrary to the rights of islands to have EEZs and a continental shelf,”

Greece and Egypt said that such moves “produce no international legal effect.”