No plan in region can succeed without Turkey, says VP Oktay
Turkey foiled a plot to confine the country to land by signing a deal with Libya on maritime boundaries and no plan in the region that excludes Turkey has any chance of success, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Wednesday.
Turkey is very active in the area designated in the maritime deal with Libya and the deal will be beneficial for the region, Oktay told state-run Anadolu news agency.
Turkey in November signed an accord with Libya’s internationally recognized government seeking to create an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s northeast coast. The deal ignores the waters around the divided island of Cyprus and a number of Greek islands, including Crete.
The agreement has enraged the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, as well as Egypt and Israel, which are working together to exploit regional gas reserves and transport the fuel to markets in Europe. Turkey’s territorial waters envisaged in the deal with the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) would block the route of a gas pipeline Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel want to build to Europe.
"No matter who is involved, no plan in the region which excludes Turkey has any chance of success," Oktay said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also vowed to deploy Turkish troops to Libya, claiming that the Tripoli-based GNA has requested military support.
Erdoğan is seeking approval to deploy troops to Libya, citing the threat posed by the ongoing conflict in the country to Turkey’s interests in the region and Turkish parliament will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the Libya resolution foreseeing deployment.
The motion authorising deployment of Turkish troops to Libya will last for one year, so troops can be sent whenever needed, Oktay said.