Cyprus and Egypt join forces to thwart Turkey’s maritime plans

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades held a phone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss their joint opposition to the Turkey-Libya maritime and security accords.

According to a written statement by Cyprus government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos during Thursday’s phone conversation the Egyptian President denounced the accord saying that it does not produce any legal effect.

Both leaders agreed that “all appropriate measures should be taken in order to stop the implementation of the clauses of the illegal agreement”.

Sisi told the President that a possible military presence of Turkey in Libya will result in destabilising the region.

It was also agreed that the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus should coordinate actions that need to be taken in order to thwart Turkey’s plans.

The UN-recognised Libyan government has agreed to activate a military cooperation agreement with Turkey, which could see Turkish advisory troops help defend Tripoli, from an attack by forces supported by the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Turkey and Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) signed on November 27 a controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) delineating their security and maritime boundaries.

The signing has angered Greece, Cyprus and Egypt with the EU also calling it unlawful.

They view the move as a Turkish move to maximise its economic and strategic influence in the region at their expense as it ignores the economic exclusive zones of both Greece and Cyprus.

Ankara declaring it will commence exploration in that maritime zone has compounded the situation.