Turkish lawmakers ratify contentious maritime borders deal with Libya

Turkish lawmakers ratify contentious maritime borders deal with Libya

Lawmakers in Turkey’s Parliament on Thursday ratified a controversial agreement with Libya’s UN-backed government delineating the maritime borders between the two countries, despite serious objections to its claims from Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.

The preliminary agreement signed in Istanbul on November 27 demarcates an 18.6-nautical mile (35-kilometer) line that will form the maritime boundary separating what will be the two countries’ respective exclusive economic zones, Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

Once it is approved by the presidential council of Libya’s Tripoli-based government, it will be submitted to the United Nations, according to Kiran.

“This agreement also amounts to a political message that Turkey can’t be sidelined in the eastern Mediterranean and nothing can be really achieved in the region without Turkey’s participation,” Cagatay Erciyes, a senior foreign ministry official in charge of maritime and aviation boundary affairs, was quoted by Bloomberg as telling a parliamentary committee on Thursday.

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