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Egypt to Expedite Maritime Border Demarcation with Libya

Egypt to Expedite Maritime Border Demarcation with Libya

Monday, 19 December, 2022 - 07:15
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at a maritime base on the border with Libya (Reuters)

Türkiye has urged Egypt and Libya to launch negotiations to demarcate their maritime border after Cairo announced the delineation of its western border.


Egyptian sources said Cairo would swiftly implement its sovereign decision.


A source at the Foreign Ministry of the interim Libyan unity government welcomed the “call for negotiation.”


Earlier, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree to demarcate the western maritime border.


The Official Gazette published the text of the decision, which included lists of coordinates for the borders, to notify the UN Secretary-General of the decision and the specific coordinates.


The Libyan Foreign Ministry rejected the decision.


Sources told the Anadolu Agency that Libya rejected Egypt’s unilateral decision to demarcate its western maritime border with nine geographic coordinates, noting that it does not overlap with Türkiye’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean.


The sources said Türkiye favors launching dialogue and negotiations between Egypt and Libya as soon as possible to delimit their boundary in line with international law.


Egypt did not officially comment on the Turkish invitation.


An informed Egyptian source told Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity that Cairo views the request as a media stunt and an attempt to balance political calls.


The source added that Egypt is aware of the development in relations with Türkiye, and Ankara does not entirely reject the demarcation to avoid a collision with Cairo, and they call for bilateral agreements.


He indicated that Türkiye resorted to imposing a fait accompli when it agreed with Libya during the 2019 agreement with the government of Fayez al-Sarraj.


Egypt will not back down from its decision and will take immediate measures to impose a fait accompli strategy, including announcing excavation and everything supporting the same path.


A source at the Foreign Ministry of the Libyan interim unity government told Asharq Al-Awsat that the government appreciates the calls for negotiations on the maritime demarcation.


He noted that Minister Nagla al-Mangoush previously called on Egypt to discuss its unilateral measure, noting that these historical rights would need constructive negotiation based on facts and evidence.


Libyan legal researcher and political analyst Ramadan al-Tuwaijer hoped Egypt and Türkiye would give Libyans the time to elect a new government and president to be able to discuss the maritime border and the continental shelf.


Tuwaijer noted that all interim governments do not have the right to demarcate the border, urging supporting countries to assist Libyans in achieving their independence and freedom and regaining sovereignty, which the negotiations will then follow.


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