The Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding (MoU) relating to maritime zones “cannot as a legal matter affect the rights or obligations of third states” such as Greece, a US energy official said on Tuesday during a virtual roundtable discussion on the Eastern Mediterranean and the trilateral partnership between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.
The event was organized by the Atlantic Council and the American-Hellenic Chambers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.
“International Law, the Convention of the Law of the Sea generally recognises that islands ... generally have an EEZ and they have a continental shelf, just as any other land territory, said Francis Fannon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.
At the same time, an MoU “does not abrogate the rights of states,” he added, "their legal status is recognized, there's not an equivalency here."
Fannon noted that the United States has been “very consistent in calling to stop all provocative actions that could undermine investment confidence in the East Mediterranean region” and affect political stability.
“We can't comment on future actions or what may or may not happen. We certainly just encourage that states stop provocative actions, and stop provocative behavior, and stop provocative statements, and really look at the opportunities that lie before them,” he said..
Speaking of Turkey, he said the US want Ankara to continue looking westward and to play a constructive role in the international community more broadly in Europe and the East Mediterranean region.
“Provocative actions, provocative statements undermine confidence and it doesn't even advance their own agenda," he added.