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US Senator says Turkey-Libya maritime border deal ‘outrageous’

TAGS: US, Diplomacy

A contested memorandum of understanding delimitating maritime borders between Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli is “outrageous” and based on a “flawed reading of international law,” a US Senator said on Wednesday during a discussion at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about US Policy towards Libya.

Addressing US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Christopher Robinson, on the delimitation agreement, Bob Melendez asked whether the US will insist that any potential future Libyan government “eschew the underpinnings of this agreement” and work with other Eastern Mediterranean countries “to comply with international law and peaceful energy exploration.”

Robinson responded that the US has called on “all parties” to refrain from actions that risk heightening tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean at this time, to which the Senator responded that Greece and Cyprus are not the ones causing tensions in the region.

“We don’t want the tensions to escalate, we don’t want any country to take rash actions that will further inflame tensions, so again we are engaged diplomatically with everybody involved in order to deescalate this situation,” Robinson added.

Pressed again by Menendez to specify if Greece or Cyprus “did something” to raise tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the State Department official responded: “No Senator.”

Greece has decried the MoU as “illegal” and “absurd,” as it disregards Crete, as well as an attack on the country's sovereign rights. Cyprus and Israel have also been described as inconsistent with international law.

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