Middle East Monitor – The Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala announced on Friday that his country will communicate with Greece and Malta to negotiate the demarcation of maritime borders, in a way that does not harm Libya’s interests.
This came during his meeting with the President of the Board of Directors of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanalla in the capital of Tripoli, according to a statement issued by the corporation.
Siala added that the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs will communicate with the governments of Greece and Malta to negotiate and discuss the demarcation of the maritime borders and reach final solutions.”[The negotiations] should be transparent and realistic, to demarcate the borders in a way that does not harm Libya’s interests,” explained Siala.
It is reported that Libya has previously signed a security cooperation memorandum and an agreement to demarcate the maritime borders with Turkey, on 27 November, 2019.
According to Sanalla: “The National Oil Corporation will demand the oil companies operating in these areas (the marine borders between Libya, Malta and Greece) to suspend their exploration activities as a subject of ongoing conflict.”
He pointed out that the suspension of these activities should continue: “Until a legal settlement is reached that serves the interests of all parties concerned, and in a manner that does not compromise the rights and sovereignty of the Libyan state.”
The eastern Mediterranean region is witnessing tension as Greece continues to take unilateral steps regarding areas of maritime jurisdiction.
On 6 August, Egypt and Greece signed a joint agreement to demarcate the maritime borders between the two countries. This agreement was rejected by Turkey and the Libyan government.
Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu disclosed in a statement at the time that “the agreement on delineating maritime jurisdiction areas” between Egypt and Greece violates the continental shelf of Turkey and Libya and their countries.