Ghassan Salamé: GNA-Turkey Agreement Threatens Berlin Conference – Al Marsad

The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, warned of the repercussions of the two MOUs signed between the Republic of Turkey and the Tripoli-based Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord on security and on maritime boundaries demarcation.

[Libya, 3 December 2019] – Salamé told Agenzia Nova that “the accusations raised by the memoranda that were signed in Istanbul last week jeopardise a meeting on 10 December in Berlin that was supposed to pave the way for holding the Berlin Conference on Libya in early January 2020.

It is worth mentioning that the agreement between the Turkish President and the Chairman of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, sparked a wave of anger, rejection, and condemnation throughout Libya and also among the countries of the Mediterranean basin, especially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece.

The GNA signed with the Turkish government in Ankara two MOUs, one on security cooperation between the two countries, and the second on the maritime boundaries’ demarcation and jurisdiction areas. The international condemnation focused, however, on the maritime MOU because the new accord denotes new maritime boundaries that have never existed before the aforementioned MOU was concluded between the two governments.

The Mediterranean Sea area spanning from southwest Turkey to northeast Libya actually cuts across the economic zones and territorial waters of Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt where massive gas reserves have been discovered. Thus, the GNA-Turkey agreement could ignite an unprecedented crisis that could lead to military confrontation in the Mediterranean basin over drilling and exploration rights.

© Al Marsad English (2019)