Since the signing of the MoU in maritime cooperation between Libya and Turkey, reactions have never ceased, especially by eastern Mediterranean countries, which feel they have been weakened by the MoU.
According to Turkish statements, the MoU put an end to the motives of those countries that aim to take control of gas resources and the operations of exploration as well as to have joint demarcation of maritime boundaries among them.
Israel Joins Rejection Pact
The President of Cyprus said Friday that he was in touch with the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Greece and Lebanon to formulate joint diplomatic action aimed at countering the Turkey-Libya maritime border deal.
Times of Israel newspaper reported Cyprus’ government spokesman, Kyriakos Koushios, as saying that he made a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who condemned the MoU between Libya and Turkey in maritime boundaries’ cooperation, saying it was illegal. The telephone call came after a conversation with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
More Talks among Refusers
On Sunday morning, the Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, arrived in Benghazi to discuss with his allies in eastern Libya, especially the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aquila Saleh, the MoU between Libya and Turkey.
After the signing of the MoU, Saleh carried out intensive visits to Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Egypt and sent letters to the UN, Arab League and African Union as well as to the Egyptian President to withdraw confidence from the Presidential Council and reject the MoU signed with Turkey, yet all of the countries snubbed his request, according to his statement on Al-Arabiya Channel.
Anger and more Involvement
Observers believe that the MoU between Turkey and Libya has sparked tensions among eastern Mediterranean countries and has also turned their expectations in the region upside down, while Libya boosts its presence along with Turkey in the region as they have become partners in disputed maritime boundaries.
According to experts, the MoU has blocked the interests of the four-member pact that has been using the Libyan crisis by allying with Khalifa Haftar to seize gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean – worth approximately 250 million dollars.
Meanwhile, Haftar’s forces intercepted Saturday a Grenada-flagged ship sailing off Derna’s coast and detained three Turkish crewmen on board. The spokesman for Haftar’s forces, Ahmed Al-Mismari, said that the crewmen were detained and the ship was tugged to Ras Al-Hilal port.