The Greek newspaper “Kathimerini” said that the areas where exploration and drilling operations are taking place between Greek and US companies, especially the southwestern part of Crete island, are inconsistent with Libyan claims to maritime sovereignty supported by the memorandum of understanding signed in 2019 between Ankara and the Libyan government.
The newspaper claimed that Libya and Turkey did not have a common maritime border, pointing out that the US company “ExxonMobil” assured the Greek government that it was not concerned with Turkey’s dispute over energy rights in the Mediterranean basin.
It also said that “ExxonMobil” entered into a partnership with the “Hellenic Petroleum” company in the search for natural gas and oil south and west of Crete, with plans to increase the pace of drilling in those areas to end this activity by next February.
The Libyan-Turkish MoU was categorically rejected by several countries, including Greece and Egypt, which recently demarcated its western maritime borders with Libya unilaterally, sparking Libya's rejection; even from Egypt's allies in the House of Representatives.
In a letter last December to the UN, Libya and Turkey decried Greek criticisms of their agreements on the delimitation of hydrocarbon and maritime jurisdiction areas, and urged Greece to end its baseless accusations, hostile rhetoric, and escalatory actions and instead respect the sovereign decisions of the two countries.
The letter noted that, contrary to Greece's allegations, the Libyan Government of National Unity has the capacity to enter and terminate international accords, and that its laws authorize the government to negotiate agreements with other states.
It also said that contrary to Greece’s claims, there is no legal basis for claims that the hydrocarbons agreement signed by Libya and Turkey contradicts the political process under UN supervision, as the roadmap that will lead to a political solution in Libya gives the government full authority in the election preparation process.