Greece has formally denounced the new memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and the Government of National Unity on October 03 in a letter from the permanent representative of Greece to the United Nations, Maria Theofili, to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Theofili said in the letter that was delivered to Guterres on November 17 that Greece maintains all its rights under international law and calls on Libya and Turkey to respect Greece’s sovereign rights and to refrain from any action that may violate those rights and destabilize peace and security in the region, ekathimirini website said.
It added that the letter was drafted after Greece’s decision to license the ExxonMobil/Helleniq Energy consortium for exploration in an area that could potentially be the subject of discussions between Athens and a legitimate government in Tripoli.
Greece, the letter said, rejected the new Turkish-Libyan memorandum in the hydrocarbons sector, as it violates Greece’s sovereign rights and international law, while it is a deliberate escalation that undermines stability in the region. It also reiterated Greece’s strong commitment to resolve any delimitation issue with neighboring countries in the Eastern Mediterranean by peaceful means, in good faith and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Theofili cited Greece’s ipso facto and ab initio rights in the region, as they are based, among other things, on the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) delimitation agreement with Egypt. She also stressed that the new Turkish-Libya memorandum is in complete contradiction with the 2020 roadmap for the resolution of the Libyan conflict, according to which the foreign policy of the Libyan state should be conducted in a manner that observes friendly and peaceful relations with regional and international partners and in accordance with the rules of good neighborliness and mutual interests.
Greece notified the UN secretary-general that the current government in Tripoli "simply has no right to proceed with any agreement that binds subsequent, democratically elected governments, which under international law are the only ones with such powers."
Greece announced on Navtex website this week the expansion of the area of seismic surveys for oil and gas deposits off the island of Crete, in response to a request from the American company ExxonMobil, which was granted exploration rights, saying that it also serves a geopolitical purpose, according to the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini.
The Turkish memorandum of understanding with the Government of National Unity (GNU) sparked a diplomatic escalation on the part of Athens, prompting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to refuse to get off the plane upon his arrival in Tripoli two weeks ago, to avoid being received by his counterpart in GNU, Najla Al-Mangoush, to continue his journey to Benghazi, where he met Parliament Speaker Aqila Saleh and Khalifa Haftar.