US State Dept: Turkey-Libya Maritime Zones Agreement “Unhelpful and Provocative” – Al Marsad

The memorandum of understanding signed by Turkey and Libya on maritime zones in the East Mediterranean is “unhelpful and provocative,” the US State Department said on Tuesday.

[Libya, 3 December 2019] – According to the official Greek news agency Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) the State Department said to a question posed by their journalists: “While the United States generally does not take a position on other states’ maritime boundary disputes, we call on all parties to refrain from all actions that risk heightening tensions in the eastern Mediterranean at this sensitive time.”

Such actions, , said the news agency, highlighted the risk of the Libyan conflict taking on wider regional dimensions, and urged all interested parties to work toward a negotiated solution. “In particular, the announcement of a signed Turkish-GNA delimitation memorandum of understanding has raised tensions in the region and is unhelpful and provocative,” the State Department noted, referring to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.

US Ambassador in Greece

Speaking to reporters after delivering a speech at the annual Greek Economic Summit in Athens, US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt said on Tuesday that while the US had not yet seen the text of the agreement, “we certainly see such a move as detracting from the situation of stability that the United States has sought to encourage.”

US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt

“We have consistently made clear our appreciation for the steps that Prime Minister Mitsotakis and his government have taken, literally from their first days in office, to help ensure that the channels of communication between Athens and Ankara are open and to make clear that Greece is not seeking escalation, is not seeking provocation”, said Ambassador Pyatt.

At the time, he said, “we hope that as quickly as possible, the focus can return to building areas of cooperation based on international law, a point that Secretary of State Pompeo made very clear in his remarks with the Foreign Minister, with the Prime Minister, when he was here in Athens.”

© Al Marsad English (2019)

Source: Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA)