Τhe Republic of Cyprus has joined Greece in demanding to review two recent Turkey-Libya deals, with the Cypriot foreign minister accusing Ankara of extorting the memorandum from Tripoli.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides had a meeting with the Libyan consul on Monday, where the two men had a discussion over the recent Turkey-Libya deal on maritime borders and military cooperation.
According to Philenews, Christodoulides says Libya is willing to send a team of diplomats and experts to Nicosia where they can hold discussions on the controversial Memorandum of Understanding between Ankara and Tripoli.
But Christodoulides reportedly has clarified that his government would want to review the agreements in-full before deciding whether to meet with the Libyan experts.
The foreign minister further accused Turkey of 'extorting the agreements from Libya in exchange for military support'
The foreign minister further accused Turkey of “extorting the agreements from Libya in exchange for military support,” according to Philenews.
Greece has also weighed in on the situation, with Greek Foreign Ambassador Nikos Dendias describing the Turkey’s military support to Libya as “possibly illegal” while calling on the Libyan ambassador in Athens to present the details of two agreements by Friday or levae the country.
Ankara maintains that it is open for talks, with the Turkish Foreign Ministry issuing a statement saying it had invited all parties to engage in negotiations to find consensus “based on equity.”
Both Greece and the Republic of Cyprus refute the claims by Ankara, with the two foreign ministers saying the Turkish positions on maritime borders has no legal merit whatsoever.
Ankara says its calls for negotiations based on international law and an equity-based approach, “the parties only preferred to take unilateral steps and try to shift blame on Turkey.”
Christodoulides has raised the issue with the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Nasser Kamel, who was paying a visit to Cyprus to discuss climate change. The foreign minister later issued a press release.
“I also had the opportunity to update the Secretary-General on the latest, escalating Turkish provocations in the Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus as well as on the latest attempt by Turkey to disrupt the rules-based order and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean with the purported signing of an MoU with Libya which lacks any legal foundation.”