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EU Backs Greece on Maritime Dispute; Declares Turkey-Libya Deal Illegal

The agreement between Libya and Turkey mapping out maritime boundaries on the Mediterranean Sea is a violation of international law, and Greece’s sovereignty, European Union leaders declared at the European Council summit on Thursday in Brussels.

The heads of all European Union states convened for a summit in Brussels and took a stance on the Turkey-Libya accord by adopting a conclusion on the issue.

“The Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third States. The European Council unequivocally reaffirms its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding these actions by Turkey,” the conclusion states.

Earlier Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that “the so-called memorandum of understanding between Libya and Turkey is invalid. It blatantly violates the sovereign rights of Greece and has no legal effect.”

The Greek premier added that “Europe is raising diplomatic walls against Turkish aggression, and Greece does not stand alone in this whole process – it has very strong allies. We are moving ahead with composure, self-confidence but mostly with a plan and with the certainty that the Greek people support our initiatives.”

The European Union, the US, Russia, Egypt and Israel have already condemned the accord, he said. “Our country has allies around the world,” Mitsotakis stated and reiterated that for Greece respect for international law is a precondition for good-neighborly relations.

On November 27, Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime zones with Libya that ignores Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus—countries that also border the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, the deal does not take into consideration the fact that between Turkey and Libya lies Crete—the biggest island of Greece.

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