Turkey’s parliament on 5 December endorsed a controversial agreement signed on 27 November between the country and Libya, on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean.
The deal gives Turkey access to an economic zone across the Mediterranean, which further raised tensions in the region. Greece, Cyprus and Egypt warned the deal is a violation of the international maritime law.
Turkey claims the UN convention on the law of the sea allows a country to stretch its territorial waters by 12 miles out to sea, but that when it comes to an economic zone, the area can extend for an additional 200 miles. If the distance between the two countries is less than 424 miles, they need to determine the dividing line with a bilateral deal, such as the one with Libya.
Turkey has been supplying arms to Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). The warlord Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, that has been in conflict with the GNA, condemned the deal and called on the UN Security Council to intervene.
The European Union has already prepared sanctions against Turkey in response of its exploratory gas drilling in waters where the Greek Cypriots claim exclusive economic rights. Cyprus has said it will take Turkey to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.