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Turkey's response to Egypt-Greece maritime demarcation deal is ‘surprising’: Cairo

'It is surprising that such [Turkish] statements and allegations were issued by a party who had not originally seen the agreement and its details'

Ahram Online , Thursday 6 Aug 2020
Ahmed Hafez
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez
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Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said on Thursday that the Turkish foreign ministry's response to an Egyptian-Greek maritime demarcation deal that defines an exclusive economic zone between the two countries is "surprising."

"It is surprising that such [Turkish] statements and allegations were issued by a party who had not originally seen the agreement and its details," Hafez wrote on his official Twitter account.

Egypt and Greece signed the maritime demarcation deal establishing an exclusive economic zone between the two countries on Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias announced at a televised press conference in Cairo.

Turkey's foreign ministry subsequently said that the area falls in the borders of Turkey's continental shelf.

Reuters reported Ankara as saying that Turkey considers the agreement to be null and void, and that the deal also violates Libya's maritime rights.

In 2019, Turkish officials and the prime minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Al-Sarraj signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.

At that time, five countries, including Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus, called on the United Nations not to register the maritime boundary deal, describing it as "illegal." The speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, in his letter to the UN, rejected the agreement.

Egypt, a close ally of Greece and Cyprus, has had strained relations with Turkey since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s late Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Relations further deteriorated over Turkey’s intervention in Libya and a signalled military intervention by Egypt in the war-torn country.

The two countries support rival sides in the oil-rich country; Ankara stands by the GNA, based in the west, while Cairo backs the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar.  

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