Athens to Tripoli: We need to negotiate maritime zones after elections

Athens to Tripoli: We need to negotiate maritime zones after elections

The Greek Foreign Ministry has reiterated Greece’s readiness for negotiations with the Libyan government that will emerge after elections are held there on the delimitation of the maritime zones, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Greek Ekathimerini newspaper reported.

The Foreign Ministry conveyed Athens’ intentions in a verbal notice delivered to the Libyan Embassy, refuting the unsubstantiated allegations made by the Tripoli government’s openly pro-Turkish Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and his associates concerning the “illegal” actions of the Sanco Swift, the vessel carrying out seismic surveys south of the Peloponnese and west and southwest of Crete.

The note stressed that the Sanco Swift is conducting research in areas under Greek jurisdiction in full compliance with all the rules of the International Law of the Sea, while also underlining that “the coordinates of the areas in which the research is carried out are accessible to all interested parties through the issuance of the relevant Navtex.”

The Foreign Ministry welcomed the fact that the Tripoli government used UNCLOS as an argument for denouncing the surveys carried out by the research vessel on behalf of ExxonMobil/Helleniq Energy.

However, diplomatic sources said the verbal note reminded Tripoli that the two illegal and unsubstantiated memoranda of understanding it has signed with Turkey (November 2019 and October 2022) are in flagrant violation of fundamental provisions of UNCLOS, which also reflect rules of customary international law.

It added that these memoranda ignore and violate Greece’s sovereign rights over its continental shelf, as well as its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone.

The Tripoli Court of Appeal ruled to suspend implementation of the memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and the Libyan Government of National Unity regarding oil and gas exploration, according to local media.