Greece Launches Diplomatic Offensive After Illegal Turkey-Libya Maritime Deal

Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas on Tuesday announced that Greece’s Foreign Ministry has sent letters to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the presidency of the Security Council on Monday, in which it outlines Greece’s positions on the Turkish-Libyan memoranda.

The letters also present the legal arguments that support its case, based on the universally-accepted norms of the International Law of the Sea.

Petsas said that the letters were sent by Greece’s permanent representative at the UN, acting on the instructions of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

The letter to the Security Council presidency points out that the Turkey-Libya agreement was drawn up in bad faith and violates the Law of the Sea, since the maritime zones of Turkey and Libya are not adjacent and there is no common maritime border between the two countries.

In addition, the official correspondence also points out that the agreement does not take into account the Greek islands and their right to have their own maritime zones (including their continental shelves and Exclusive Economic Zones).

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas presenting the letters Greece sent to the United Nations

The official letters also state that the agreement is invalid since it has not been approved by the Libyan parliament, as attested to by a letter from the speaker of the Libyan Parliament to the UN Secretary General.

For this reason, the letter notes, Greece rejects the entire agreement as invalid and not capable of affecting Greece’s sovereign rights.

The official letter of protest also points out that the signing of the “Agreement” disrupts peace and security in the region.

It further requests that this be pointed out to the Security Council so that the body might condemn the agreement as contrary to international law, and call on Turkey and Libya to abstain from any act that might violate Greece’s sovereign rights and escalate tensions in the region.

The letter to Secretary-General Guterres presents the same arguments and requests that the agreement, being invalid, should not be registered at the UN and published in the UN’s Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. It also notes that the issue should be placed before the Security Council, Petsas said.

In his briefing to reporters, the spokesman also said the government has launched diplomatic initiatives on a European and international level on this issue, which are already yielding results.

He said that Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias presented Greece’s arguments to his European counterparts in Brussels and asked for a clear condemnation of these memoranda, as well as a framework of sanctions if Turkey and the Tripoli government fail to comply, as well as support for Greece and Cyprus.

The Foreign Minister has stated that Greece will do “whatever is necessary” to defend its sovereign rights, while the issue will also be raised by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the European Council on Thursday and Friday, Petsas added.

Source: AMNA