Athens summons Turkish ambassador over Libya maritime boundaries deal

Athens on Thursday strongly condemned a deal Turkey signed with the internationally recognised Libya government to delineate maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean and summoned Turkish Ambassador Burak Özügergin over the matter, Greek daily Kathimerini reported.

Thursday's development fuelled concerns in Athens over Turkey’s aggressive policies in the eastern Mediterranean as disputes continue over potentially rich hydrocarbon resources, it said. 

The memorandum of understanding on the “delimitation of maritime jurisdictions” was signed on Wednesday in Istanbul by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the Libyan government in Tripoli. 

Ankara has also submitted a series of claims in the region to the United Nations, notably its perceived right to have maritime zones and a continental shelf west of the 28th meridian (south of Rhodes), ignoring the Dodecanese chain of islands, Kathimerini said. 

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias described the agreement between Turkey and Libya as “completely unacceptable” and “beyond all reason.”

“Such an effort shows a complete lack of geographic knowledge, because it obviously ignores something that I think everyone can see – that between these two countries lies the large geographical land area of Crete,” Dendias said.