Greece has ordered the expulsion of the Libyan Ambassador Mohamed Younis AB Menfi, in the latest escalation of a dispute over a deal signed between Libya and Turkey on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the Libyan Ambassador had been summoned to the ministry to be informed of the decision and was given 72 hours to leave the country, with Dendias calling the Turkey-Libyan accord a “blatant violation of international law”.
According to reports, Turkey’s foreign minister condemned the move as “outrageous,” while the Libyan foreign minister described it as “unacceptable.”
Under the terms of a deal reached between Libya and Turkey on 27 November, Turkey gets access to a zone across the Mediterranean, ignoring the objections of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which lie between Turkey and Libya geographically.
The accord “constitutes a raw violation of the law of the sea and of the sovereign rights of Greece and of other countries,” Dendias said, adding it was a deliberate attempt to create tension “both on a bilateral and on a regional level.”
The deal has added tension to Turkey’s ongoing dispute with Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt over oil and gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.