EU has no say over Turkish-Libyan maritime deal - foreign ministry

The European Union has no jurisdiction over maritime boundaries and is not in a position to judge a recent memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and the UN-recognised government of Libya, Turkish foreign ministry said on Friday. 

The foreign ministry’s statement came after the European Council on Thursday unequivocally reaffirmed its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding the agreement between Ankara and Tripoli that makes two countries maritime neighbours in east Mediterranean. 

“European Council, with this decision, has once again shown that, it continues under a pretext of union solidarity to act as the mouthpiece of Greek and Greek Cypriots' unjust and maximalist national claims which are contrary to international law and the principle of equity,” the ministry said. 

“As previously stated, the EU does not have any jurisdiction over the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas. Likewise, the EU is not an international court and thus cannot adjudge the legality of a memorandum duly signed between Turkey and the Government of National Accord-State of Libya.”

The ministry accused the EU of applying a double standard by staying silent to the Cyprus government’s delimitation agreements with the countries in the region, which it said had been violating the rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. 

“The EU acted as if the Greek Cypriot Side was a normal state representing the whole island,” it said. 

The EU’s statement, which said the Turkish-Libyan deal infringed upon the sovereign rights of third states, did not comply with the law of the sea, and could not produce any legal consequences for third states. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the country was extremely satisfied with the EU’s response, Kathimerini reported on Saturday.