Cairo summit denounces Turkish-Libyan maritime border agreement
Saturday, January 11, 2020
On Wednesday, an assembly of several foreign ministers in Cairo denounced the memoranda of understanding between Turkey and Libya in which Turkey and Libya agreed on maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean and allowed Turkish army deployments in Libya. The November border demarcation resulted in overlapping (EEZ) claims and would make the planned cross Turkish waters.
Egyptian foreign minister and his Greek, Cypriot and French counterparts, , and , respectively, gathered in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss . The Italian foreign minister, , joined the talks as an observer.
They concluded that the November 27 maritime border agreement between Turkey and Libya is "null and void" and "infringes upon the sovereign rights of third states, does not comply with theand cannot produce any legal consequences". They called on Turkey to halt their drilling operations within the EEZ of Cyprus, and deemed that the agreement on sending Turkish soldiers to Libya, where a civil war is underway, goes against the United Nations Security Council resolution 2259.
The foreign ministers agreed to a future meet on.
In a related press release issued the following day, thedenounced the conclusions of the summit, calling the agreements "legitimate and fully compatible with international law". To resolve differences, they invited the countries to open dialogue, with the exception of Cyprus, which Turkey does not recognize.
On Wednesday during the opening ceremony of the Turkish Cypriot interests.gas pipeline, Turkish president called for a regional cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, claiming a right to Turkey to have a say in projects there, based on the country's long shoreline. "No project excluding our country in the Eastern Mediterranean can be implemented with regard to economic, judicial and diplomatic aspects", he said. He underlined the call for cooperation by saying "we are ready to take more [positive] steps towards those taking a single step towards us." He claimed the Turkish drilling on Cypriot waters is only to protect Turkish and
On Tuesday, Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking to the called the border agreement "null and void" and "geographically ridiculous". "The agreement assumes that our islands, including our biggest island Crete, does not have an exclusive economic zone, which goes against everything we know in international law", he added. He also noted that the did not ratify the demarcation, and mentioned a possible arbitration route at the . The border issue is the "main difference" between Greece and Turkey, he added.
In the November 27 deal, Turkey and Libya agreed on a line as their shared maritime border that would make the sea between Crete and Cyprus a part of the Turkish EEZ. Turkey justified the claim based on their long shoreline and presented cases where islands played only a limited role when borders were drawn. Athens expelled the Libyan ambassador to Greece over the agreement.
The EastMed pipeline is a Israeli-Cypriot-Greek effort intended to connect East Mediterranean offshore gas fields with the European mainland via a pipeline, on a route which passes through Turkish-claimed maritime territories. Italy, the proposed end point, and Egypt, which have gas fields of its own, were openly called to join.
- "Press Release Regarding the Joint Statement Made by Greece, France, Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) and Egypt on the Eastern Mediterranean" — , January 9, 2020
- "Communique, Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Cyprus and Greece Cairo – January 8th 2020" — , January 8, 2020
- (French mirror) "Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Cyprus and Greece - Final Communiqué (Cairo, 8 January 2020)" — , January 8, 2020
- (Cypriot mirror) "Communique, Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Cyprus and Greece, Cairo – January 8th 2020" — , January 9, 2020
- (Egyptian mirror) "Final Communiqué, Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Cyprus and Greece Cairo – January 8th 2020" — , January 8, 2020
- President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. "No project excluding our country has life chance" — , January 8, 2020
- "A Town Hall Conversation with Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis" — , January 7, 2020 (Video)
- See a partial transcription here.
- "EastMed Gas pipeline agreement signed at trilateral summit between PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot Pres. Nicos Anastasiades" — , January 2, 2020
- "Israel inks mega gas pipeline deal with Greece, Cyprus" — , January 2, 2020
- Çagatay Erciyes. "Addressing the East Mediterranean maritime dispute and unilateral activities" — , December 9, 2019 (PDF)
- "Resolution 2259" — , December 23, 2015