EU leaders to reject Turkey-Libya maritime deal - Reuters

European Union leaders will deem on Thursday an accord signed between Turkey and Libya on maritime boundaries a violation of international law, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing a draft statement it saw.

EU foreign ministers met on Monday to address the maritime deal between Ankara and Libya that has stoked tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, where a number of countries are vying for the rights to hydrocarbon resources.

"The Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States (and) does not comply with the (UN) Law of the Sea," Reuters quoted the draft statement prepared for a two-day summit as saying.

The agreement signed on Nov. 27, Turkey and Libya's Tripoli-based government of national accord (GNA) during a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and GNA head Fayez Al Sarraj ignores territorial waters around the divided island of Cyprus and number of Greek islands, including Crete.

Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which seek to build a pipeline carrying gas to Europe across those waters, have all objected to the agreement.

Greece has sent two letters to the United Nations explaining its objections to a maritime boundary deal between Turkey and last week expelled the Libyan ambassador.

"The European Council unequivocally reaffirms its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding these actions by Turkey," Reuters further quoted the draft as saying. 

Turkey and Greece have lad a long-running dispute over drilling rights in the Mediterranean. 

Turkey has sent ships to look for gas off Cyprus in a bid press its claims to water in the region, prompting the EU to prepare sanctions against Ankara in response.