Greek foreign minister reiterates criticism of Turkey-Libya energy exploration deal

On Friday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias reiterated his criticism of the agreement reached last month between Turkey and the Libyan government in Tripoli on energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

The deal is based on a maritime demarcation agreement signed between the two countries in 2019, which has been condemned by Greece and Cyprus and criticized by Egypt and Israel. Libya’s east-based parliament, which backs an alternative administration, also voted it down.

In a video message to an energy and security conference in Athens on Friday, Dendias said the 2019 deal – which ignores Greek islands, notably Crete, standing between Libya and Turkey no neighbors – “defied not only fundamental international law, but also fundamental principles of geography.

“We were happy to see that many states came out to speak out against it immediately,” he said.

The Greek foreign minister also hailed a US-brokered maritime demarcation agreement between Lebanese and Israeli leaders in late October, which was hailed for bringing a measure of accommodation between the rival states as they consider offshore energy exploration.

“We salute the courage and vision of Israel and Lebanon and hope that other countries in the region will seize the opportunity and follow their example,” Dendias said.

“This is the path to peace, stability and prosperity. Unfortunately, this is not the path followed by all,” he said, in a thinly disguised reference to Turkey.

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