Greece registers disagreement with Libya-Turkey maritime accord


Greece opposes an accord reached by Turkey and Libya to define maritime boundaries adding it and Ankara – both NATO members – are committed to talks on confidence-building measures.

Libya and Turkey signed an agreement on boundaries in the Mediterranean last week that could complicate Ankara’s disputes over offshore energy exploration with nations including Greece.

Greece and Turkey are at odds over old issues ranging from mineral rights in the Aegean Sea to ethnically-split Cyprus. The deal with Libya angered Greece, which sees the move as infringing its sovereign rights.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Britain on the sidelines of a NATO summit.

“I raised issues relating to the latest Turkish actions,” Mitsotakis said in a statement. “The disagreements of both sides were recorded. The sides agreed to continue discussions on confidence building measures.”

There was no immediate comment from the Turkish side.

The accord between Turkey and Libya’s internationally recognised government, which mapped out a sea area between the two countries, was signed on November 27.

Libya neighbour Egypt dismissed the deal as “illegal” as did Cyprus, while Greece said any such accord would be geographically absurd because it ignored the presence of the Greek island Crete between Turkey and Libya.

Greece warned Libya’s ambassador to Athens if he failed to provide clarification to the Greek government over the deal he could be expelled, a Greek government spokesman said.

“I want to reassure the Greek people difficulties with Turkey existed, exist and will exist. I assess that, provided both sides show goodwill, these will be overcome,” Mitsotakis said.

Tensions are running high between Athens and Ankara because of Turkish drilling in the eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus and the European Union has prepared sanctions against Turkey in response.