Greece’s Foreign Ministry sent two letters to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and the presidency of the Security Council on Monday, protesting over the provocative Memorandum of Understanding signed between Turkey and Libya and asking that it not be recognised by the UN.
According to government spokesperson Stelios Petsas, the letters outline Greece’s positions and present the legal arguments that support its case, based on the international Law of the Sea.
Petsas said that the letters were sent by Greece’s permanent representation at the UN, acting on the instructions of Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias.
The letter to the Security Council presidency points out that the Turkey-Libya agreement was drawn up in bad faith and violates the Law of the Sea, since the maritime zones of Turkey and Libya are not adjacent and there is no common maritime border between the two countries. In addition, it points out, the agreement does not take into account the Greek islands and their right to have maritime zones (continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone). It says that the agreement is invalid since it has not been approved by the Libyan parliament, as attested to by a letter from the Libyan Parliament speaker to the UN Secretary General. For this reason, the letter notes, Greece rejects the entire agreement as invalid and not capable of affecting Greek sovereign rights.
It also points out that the signature of the “Agreement” disrupts peace and security in the region and asks that this be pointed out to the Security Council so that it might condemn the agreement as contrary to international legality and call on Turkey and Libya to abstain from any act that might violate Greece’s sovereign rights and escalate tension in the region.
Briefing reporters, the spokesperson said the government has launched diplomatic initiatives on a European and international level on this issue, which are already yielding results. Among others, he said, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias presented Greece’s arguments to his European counterparts in Brussels and asked for a clear condemnation of these memoranda, as well as a framework of sanctions if Turkey and the Tripoli government fail to comply, as well as support for Greece and Cyprus.
The Foreign Minister said that Greece will do “whatever is necessary” to defend its sovereign rights, while the issue will also be raised by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the European Council on Thursday and Friday, Petsas added.