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Turkey, Libya renew commitment to controversial maritime deal


This agreement concluded in 2019 fixes the maritime borders between Turkey and Libya, in a region rich in natural gas, but is not recognized by the other countries bordering the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to a controversial maritime delimitation agreement that angered their neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean.

Read also: Libya: Turkey accused of arming the Islamists

"Today, we renewed our determination on the subject"

of this agreement concluded in 2019, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a joint press point with his Libyan host, after a meeting in Ankara.

"With regard to the agreements signed between our countries, in particular the one relating to maritime delimitations, we reaffirm that these agreements are based on valid bases and serve the interests of our two countries",

declared Abdelhamid Dbeibah for his part.

A series of agreements

This agreement, which the other countries bordering the Eastern Mediterranean do not recognize, fixes the maritime borders between Turkey and Libya in a region rich in natural gas.

Turkey is relying on this text to justify the gas drilling that it is carrying out in areas which are theoretically located in the maritime space of Greece or Cyprus.

Ankara had concluded this maritime pact with the Libyan government recognized by the United Nations and based in Tripoli, when the latter faced an offensive by a dissident power based in eastern Libya.

After years of conflict, Libya formed, after a process led by the UN, a unified executive responsible for leading the transition to national elections at the end of December.

It is this transitional government led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah.

On Monday, the two leaders also signed a series of agreements aimed at strengthening cooperation, especially economic, between their countries.

"We want to strengthen our solidarity and our cooperation (...) We will support the government of national unity in the same way that we supported the previous legitimate government (of Tripoli)"

, underlined the Turkish president.

Read also: Libya: why Turkey's activism is giving France a cold sweat

After years of war, since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, Libya's juicy reconstruction market has whetted the appetites of many countries, including Turkey.

Turkish companies will play

"an important role in the reconstruction of Libya,

" said the Libyan prime minister, who is due to meet with Turkish businessmen on Tuesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan also announced that his country would provide 150,000 doses of vaccine against the coronavirus to Libya, a country hard hit by the epidemic, due in particular to the weakness of its health infrastructure.

He also indicated that Turkey would reopen its consulate in Benghazi, in eastern Libya,

"as soon as conditions allow".

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2021-04-12

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