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Turkey says maritime deal between Greece and Egypt is ‘null and void’

August 7, 2020 at 11:26 am

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (left 2) is welcomed at the airport upon his arrival in Tripoli, Libya on 6 August 2020. [Fatih Aktaş – Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has criticised and dismissed a maritime agreement between Greece and Egypt for an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean intended to counter Turkey’s own such deal with the Libyan government. A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry described the deal as “null and void” and pointed out that Greece and Egypt have no shared maritime border.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted that his country will “continue to resolutely defend [the] rights of Turkey & Turkish Cypriots at the table & on the ground.”

READ: The preservation of Turkey’s energy rights is key to maritime stability in the eastern Mediterranean

The deal between Egypt and Greece was signed yesterday in Cairo and was announced in a joint press conference by their foreign ministers.

The “mutually beneficial deal” was aimed at cancelling out the “illegal” maritime deal between Turkey and the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) late last year, which thwarted the EastMed pipeline project agreed upon by Egypt, Israel, Greek and Cyprus.

Ankara’s criticism of the Egypt-Greece deal noted that the proposed demarcated area lies on Turkey’s continental shelf. The Foreign Ministry in the Turkish capital also reminded Egypt that it had already given up 11,500 square kilometres of its own continental shelf in a previous agreement with Cyprus back in 2003, and that it would only lose more of its maritime jurisdiction in this latest deal.

READ: ‘We will not let anybody harm Turkey’s interests’