Erdogan: Greek expulsion of Libyan envoy an ‘international scandal’

Erdogan: Greek expulsion of Libyan envoy an ‘international scandal’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said Greece's decision to expel the Libyan ambassador to the country over the deal Tripoli signed with Ankara on maritime borders is an “international scandal” and Athens will “pay the price for its actions internationally.”

Speaking on state broadcaster TRT Haber, Erdogan said the MoU, endorsed by the Turkish parliament last week, means Turkey and Libya can carry out joint exploration operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He also said Turkey will buy another drilling ship to continue activities in the eastern Mediterranean and may expand operations to the Black Sea or international waters.

The MoU has fueled tensions between Turkey and Greece, Cyprus and Egypt over oil and gas drilling rights in the region, with Athens expelling the Libyan ambassador for failing to divulge the contents of the deal.

On Monday, the EU said the deal “is a cause of serious concern.”

“We express our solidarity and our support to Greece and Cyprus,” the European Union's new chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said on Monday, after a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers in Brussels.

Borrell also said it was clear the MoU is “problematic” for Greece and Cyprus and that it could cause problems for Greek islands. He said EU authorities are “examining it.”

[Reuters, Kathimerini]

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