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Dendias reiterates criticism of Turkey-Libya deal on energy exploration

Dendias reiterates criticism of Turkey-Libya deal on energy exploration

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Friday reiterated criticism of last month’s deal between Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli government on energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

The deal is based on a maritime demarcation accord signed between the two countries in 2019 which has been condemned by Greece and Cyprus and criticized by Egypt and Israel. Libya’s eastern-based parliament, which backs an alternative administration, has also rejected it.

In a video message during a conference on energy and security held in Athens on Friday, Dendias said the 2019 agreement – which ignores Greek islands, notably Crete, standing in between non-neighboring Libya and Turkey – “defied not only basic international law, but also fundamental principles of geography.”

“We were happy to see that many states have come out to denounce it immediately,” he said.

The Greek foreign minister also hailed a US-brokered maritime demarcation deal signed between Lebanese and Israeli leaders in late October, which was welcomed for bringing a measure of accommodation between the rival states as they eye offshore energy exploration.

“We salute the courage and the vision of Israel and Lebanon and we hope that other countries in the region will seize the opportunity and follow their example,” Dendias said. “This is the path to peace, stability and prosperity. Unfortunately, this is not the path followed by all,” he said, in a thinly-disguised reference to Turkey.