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Haftar Slams Maritime Agreement between Turkey, GNA, Urges UN Intervention

Haftar Slams Maritime Agreement between Turkey, GNA, Urges UN Intervention

Thursday, 5 December, 2019 - 07:15
Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar. (Reuters)

Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar strongly condemned on Wednesday the maritime accord reached by Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

He urged the United Nations Security Council to intervene to “confront and thwart Turkish plots that are aimed at restoring its destructive influence in the region.”

In a statement, he described the GNA as “brain dead”, saying it does not enjoy the mandate to sign such agreements, therefore, rendering them null and void.

Moreover, he deemed the Turkey-GNA accord as an “act of aggression that threatens international peace and security and marine navigation”.

“Turkey has become a direct threat to the interests of the Libyan people,” Haftar warned.

Meanwhile, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez announced Wednesday that Ankara will soon begin oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, in line with the deal signed with the GNA.

The accord has thwarted attempts to eliminate Turkey from the eastern Mediterranean, he added, stressing that it adheres to international maritime law.

The accord between Turkey and the GNA, which mapped out a sea area between the two countries, was signed on November 27. It has drawn criticism from Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Cyprus and Europe.

Egypt dismissed the deal as “illegal” as did Cyprus, while Greece has said any such accord would be geographically absurd because it ignored the presence of the Greek island of Crete between the coasts of Turkey and Libya.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry kicked off on Wednesday a visit to Italy to attend a forum on the Mediterranean.

Egyptian experts and diplomats told Asharq Al-Awsat that the minister will discuss the latest Turkish escalation at the event.

Former aide to the Egyptian foreign minister Hussein Hreidy told Asharq Al-Awsat that Turkey’s attempt to explore oil and gas in Egypt’s territorial waters would be deemed a violation against the country.

Cairo will take the necessary measures in line with the UN Charter to counter such a move, he stated.

The accord between Turkey and the GNA must be approved by parliament and presented to the UN, he continued.

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