Ankara, Tripoli sign maritime hydrocarbons deal

AFP , Monday 3 Oct 2022

Turkey's foreign minister signed a deal in Libya's capital Monday allowing for oil and gas exploration in Libyan waters, three years after a maritime border deal that angered European nations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh review a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey


"We've signed a Memorandum of Understanding on exploration for hydrocarbons in Libya's territorial waters and on Libyan soil, by mixed Turkish-Libyan companies," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference in Tripoli.

The deal follows an agreement Turkey signed with authorities in Tripoli in 2019, which demarcated the countries' shared maritime borders but sparked anger in Greece and Cyprus.

Cavusoglu however stressed on Monday that the new accord was between "two sovereign countries, it's win-win for both, and other countries have no right to interfere".

Najla al-Mangoush, foreign minister in Libya's Government of National Unity, said the new deal was "important", especially in light of "the Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions" for energy markets.

Turkey had signed a controversial security agreement in November 2019 with Libya's UN-recognised government, claiming extensive, potentially gas-rich areas of the Mediterranean for itself.

The deal came at the height of a year-long battle between rival governments vying for control of the capital.

Turkey continues to play a major role in Libya's west, where rival governments are again struggling for control two years after the end of the last major conflict.

Cavusoglu was accompanied in Tripoli by a high-level delegation also including Turkey's energy, defence and trade ministers.

Libya has been mired in violence for more than a decade since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising.

Dozens of armed groups have been struggling for influence, backed by multiple foreign powers.

Since March, a government appointed by Libya's eastern-based parliament has been attempting to take office in Tripoli, but has so far failed.

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