EU will not agree to Libya deal unless Turkey agreement scrapped – Greek PM

The European Union will not agree to a political solution in Libya unless Turkey and Libya abandon a maritime accord they signed which ignores the territorial waters of some Greek islands, Greek daily quoted Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as saying on Thursday.

“I have made it very clear to everyone concerned that there is not going to be a political solution in Libya to which the EU will have to agree, where will agree, unless these agreements are scrapped,” Mitsotakis told a conference panel at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, referring to the two deals inked in November by Ankara and the U.N.-recognised government in Tripoli.

The first deal on maritime borders violates customary law by denying Greece’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) southeast of the island of Crete and by claiming a Turkish EEZ that stretches over an area until the coasts of Crete and Rhodes, the findings of an investigation in the German Parliament said, according to Kathimerini. 

The second agreement allows Turkey to send military forces to Tripoli to help Fayez al-Sarraj’s government fend off the military assault of General Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army, which controls a large amount of Libyan territory from the east to the south.

Despite a multilateral summit held last week in Berlin to ensure a ceasefire in Libya and to uphold a U.N. arms embargo, Haftar has launched a renewed attack to seize control of Tripoli. 

The EU opposes the maritime border demarcation deal between Ankara and Tripoli saying it infringes the rights of a sovereign state and violates international law. Armed conflict in Libya also creates risks for the bloc as it has disrupted OPEC member’s oil output, fuelled migrant smuggling to Europe and given space to Islamist extremists, Kathimerini said.