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Turkey, Libya Sign Maritime Zone, Security Deals

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Fayez al-Serraj, head of the internationally recognized government of Libya met in Istanbul on Wednesday and signed two memoranda of understanding on Mediterranean Sea boundaries and expanded security cooperation, Turkey announced on Thursday. The maritime borders agreement could complicate disputes between Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and the EU on Eastern Mediterranean oil and gas exploration. Two weeks ago, the EU agreed to apply economic sanctions on Turkey as punishment for drilling too close to Cyprus. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the Turkey-Libya deal was “completely unacceptable” and “beyond all reason.” Libya is divided between Serraj’s Government of National Accord, which rules from Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army forces, mostly in eastern Libya. Haftar controls most of the country’s oil fields and facilities but oil revenues are controlled by the central bank in Tripoli.