Turkey, Libya sign new MoU for energy exploration in East Med
Turkey has signed a series of preliminary economic agreements with Libya’s Tripoli government on Monday that included potential energy exploration in maritime areas, but Libya’s eastern-based parliament rejected the move.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush at a ceremony in Tripoli.
In 2019, the two governments agreed on an “exclusive economic zone” that angered other eastern Mediterranean states Greece and Egypt. It was not clear if Monday’s MoU will produce any deals to explore hydrocarbon or gas in this zone.
Asked if Greece might oppose the new deals, Cavusoglu said ”third countries have no right to interfere with agreements signed between two sovereign states.”
But Libya’s Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh, seen as an ally of Egypt and fighting the Tripoli government, said the MoU was illegal because it was signed by a government that had no mandate.
Turkey has been a significant supporter of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) under Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, whose legitimacy is disputed by the Libyan parliament, which backs an alternative administration.
But diplomatic sources in Athens said on Monday that Both Greece and Egypt question the legitimacy of the MoU. Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported that Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and both ministers would meet in Cairo for consultations on Sunday.