Foreign Ministry sends note verbale to Libyan embassy over research vessel

Foreign Ministry sends note verbale to Libyan embassy over research vessel

The Foreign Ministry has sent the Libyan embassy in Athens a note verbale rejecting accusations that the Sanco Swift research vessel is acting illegally.

The vessel is conducting seismic surveys for hydrocarbon deposits, over an area covering 40,000 square kilometers in total, off the western-southwestern coast of Crete in the southern Aegean and off the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese in the Ionian Sea.

According to diplomatic sources, the ministry stated in the note that the surveys are taking place in areas under Greek jurisdiction, in accordance with the rules of the International Law of the Sea.

The coordinates of the areas in which the surveys are carried out are accessible to all interested parties through the publication of a relevant navigational telex (Navtex).

While the ministry welcomed the reference by the Libyan side to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), it reminded the Libyan side that the two illegal and non-existent memoranda of understanding it has signed with Turkey (November 2019 and October 2022) flagrantly violate fundamental provisions of UNCLOS which also reflect rules of international customary law.

In addition, the Foreign Ministry emphasized that these illegal memoranda ignore and violate Greece’s sovereign rights over its continental shelf, as well as its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone.

On Monday, a Libyan court suspended an energy exploration deal that the Tripoli government signed last year with Turkey, pausing an agreement that angered other Mediterranean powers and inflamed Libya’s own internal crisis.

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