Turkey Libya Agreement Mediterranean

The agreement between Turkey and Libya, which also provides for military cooperation with the UN-backed Libyan government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to end Libya`s civil war and thus help prevent international terrorism, has enabled the Turkish government to achieve a foreign and security policy movement in the eastern Mediterranean. Military support for the Turkish government in Tripoli covers regional energy issues as well as ideology and geopolitics. On 28 November 2019, Ankara also secured a maritime agreement with Libya to strengthen its claims in the eastern Mediterranean, at the same time as it approved a defence agreement for the Libyan GNA. The agreement created an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that extends to Greek and Cypriot maritime areas and interests, in violation of international law. It was launched following an initiative by Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine in January 2019 to create the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum. Established on 16 January 2020 as an international body, the EastMed Gas Forum aims to transform the eastern Mediterranean into an important energy centre and export gas from Israel, Egypt and Cyprus to European markets. The agreement between Turkey and Libya is an attempt to block it by drawing a line at sea. There are no such in-depth agreements between the coastal states of the eastern Mediterranean. The Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus considers itself the sole authority on the island, while Greece, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Israel have declared all EEZs of the eastern Mediterranean. It is important to note, however, that the DEEE agreements between the EU and the Greek Cypriot duo and the us-backed coastal states have no legitimacy because of the illegality of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum – which violates the rights protected by international law of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) -. In this regard, no direct neighbourhood is necessary for the delimitation of the sea. The question of Greek criticism is why south Cyprus` ally and favourite struck such an agreement with Egypt in 2003, when the neighbourhood criterion was crucial. The distance between southern Cyprus and Egypt is not much greater than that between Turkey and Libya.

However, the agreement will not now allow Turkey to be excluded from the EastMed project and the East Med Gas Forum, as a joint organisation, which aims to strengthen regional energy cooperation without Turkey. In Libya, the signing of the memorandum elicited different reactions: it was welcomed by the government`s supporters of the national agreement, but rejected by supporters of Khalifa Haftar and the Tobruk Parliament.

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