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3 December 201919:56

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question about Turkey and the Government of National Accord of Libya signing memorandums

2509-03-12-2019

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Question: What can you tell us about the signing of memorandums on the delimitation of maritime zones and cooperation in the sphere of security by Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Head of the Government of Libyan National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj in Istanbul on November 27?

Maria Zakharova: These documents can be given a legal assessment only after we familiarise ourselves with the contents, which have not so far been disclosed. However, we noted a fairly painful reaction to this signing by a number of Mediterranean states, primarily, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. Despite the official statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry that the Turkish-Libyan memorandum on the delimitation of maritime zones does not contradict international agreements, Athens and Nicosia accused Ankara of violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and infringing on their interests.

With regard to the memorandum of cooperation in security, the signing gave rise to allegations of Turkey's attempts to legalise its military support for the government in Tripoli in its confrontation with the Libyan national army led by Khalifa Haftar, including by way of a blatant violation of the arms embargo. In turn, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, recently suggested that the document could disrupt preparations for an international meeting on Libyan settlement scheduled to be held in Berlin later this year. This raises many questions directly for Mr Sarraj.

We hope that the parties to the above memorandums will show political prudence and refrain from steps that could further aggravate the already tense situation in Libya and the Mediterranean in general.

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