U.N. to post maps of Libya-Turkey maritime deal
The United Nations’ Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is preparing to post the geographical coordinates of the maritime border agreement signed by Turkey and Libya’s U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in November, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Sunday.
Athens is concerned about the inclusion of the memorandum’s sea zone maps in the U.N.'s database, which effectively gives them an official character, the newspaper said.
The maritime agreement signed on Nov. 27, Turkey and Libya's Tripoli-based government ignores territorial waters around the divided island of Cyprus and number of Greek islands, including Crete.
Greece, one of a number of countries seeking to build a pipeline carrying gas to Europe across those waters, has denounced the memorandum as illegal and a blatant violation of its sovereignty and has sent two letters to the United Nations explaining its objections to a maritime boundary deal.
Ankara maintains the posting of the maps by the U.N. will essentially make the memorandum official and will pave the way for Turkey to begin exploratory drilling activities for natural resources in the maritime zones that are outlined in the agreement as part of Turkey's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), including an area off southern Crete, Kathimerini said.
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.