Athens issues ultimatum to Libyan envoy to present maritime deal with Turkey

Athens issues ultimatum to Libyan envoy to present maritime deal with Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Friday asked Libya's ambassador to Greece to present a copy of the agreement his country signed with Turkey on maritime boundaries by December 5, or risk being expelled from the country.

The moves comes after Turkey announced Thursday it had signed a deal on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea with Libya’s internationally recognized government, as well as a deal on expanded security and military cooperation.

The memorandum of understanding on the “delimitation of maritime jurisdictions” was signed on Wednesday in Istanbul by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. No details were made available on the accord.

According to information from the ministry, the back room talks between Ankara and Tripoli to establish maritime boundaries was already being discussed in Athens since July and the Greek side was not surprised.

The same sources said there are indications that the memorandum of understanding vaguely stipulates that both sides will work on delimiting maritime zones. Furthermore, an MoU is not legally binding, and such agreements are usually not in the form of a memorandum.

Greece, however, is not considering rescinding the recognition of the current Libyan government, as it is also recognized by both the European Union and the United Nations.

Next week, Dendias will raise the issue in a series of meetings he will hold with counterparts from countries with influence in the region on the sidelines of a NATO and OSCE meetings.

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