UN studying Greek demands for action against Turley-Libya deal

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The United Nations is studying a protest letter sent by Greece urging for action against the maritime border deal signed between Turkey and Libya’s internationally-backed government.

“I can confirm that we received that letter…it`s being studied…the Secretariat doesn’t take a position or provide comments in relation to matters concerning the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Member States over their maritime spaces,” said UN deputy spokesperson Ferhan Haq.

He added: “We’re confident that all parties concerned recognise the need for continued dialogue on these sensitive matters.  Needless to say, that, in accordance with the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all differences should be resolved by peaceful means.”

Asked whether the Secretary-General will accept Libya’s maritime deal as a legal document, Haq said that he is hearing “completely different views about the legality of this, which neatly sums up the position we’re in right now.”

In the letter, Greece outlined its objections to the “legally invalid” deal and calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to bring the matter before the Security Council.

The letter states that the deal blatantly violates the rules governing the law of the sea regarding the demarcation of maritime borders, as Turkey and Libya do not have overlapping sea zones or common boundaries.

It also points out that the memorandum of understanding ignores the presence of Greek islands, including Crete.

Moreover, the continental shelves and exclusive economic zones described in the agreement’s text are dismissed as illegitimate, arbitrary, provocative and an open violation of Greece’s sovereign rights.

Cyprus has also condemned the deal as illegal and disregarding the maritime rights of Mediterranean states and island.

Egypt has also called the MoU “legally invalid” and has joined Nicosia and Athens in a diplomatic offensive.