Turkey-Libya maritime deal provocative, unhelpful, U.S. envoy says

Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Greece, said on Wednesday the agreement signed by Turkey and Libya's Tripoli-based government on maritime borders in the eastern Mediterranean was unhelpful and provocative, Greek City Times reported, citing CNN Greece.

The deal signed on Nov. 27 by Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord asserts the two countries share a maritime border, ignoring the territorial waters around Cyprus and a number of Greek islands, including Crete. Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which are seeking to build a pipeline carrying gas to Europe across those waters, have all objected to the agreement.

Pyatt called the maritime deal "unhelpful" and "provocative", during his speech at an economic forum in the Greek city of Delphi.

"The Turkey-Libya memorandum cannot take anything away from Greece,” the U.S. ambassador said.

Turkey is locked in disputes with both Greece and Cyprus over territorial waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Turkey has sent ships to drill for gas off Cyprus to press its claim to the waters there.