State Department Blasts Turkey-Libya Maritime Deal as “Provocative”

The US State Department on Tuesday described a memorandum of understanding ostensibly delineating maritime zones between Turkey and Libya as “unhelpful” and “provocative.”

Washington’s condemnation of Ankara’s designs to change maritime borders in eastern Mediterranean comes as NATO leaders including Presidents Trump and Erdogan as well as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have assembled in London for a NATO summit.

“The announcement of a signed Turkish-GNA delimitation memorandum of understanding has raised tensions in the region and is unhelpful and provocative,” the spokesperson said during a regular press briefing.

The spokesperson said that the United States does not generally intervene in disputes over the maritime borders of other states, but called on all sides “to refrain from actions that risk raising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean at a sensitive time.”

Asked to comment on these developments, the spokesperson said they “highlight the risk of the Libyan conflict taking on wider regional dimensions and the urgent need for all interested parties to work toward a negotiated solution.”

Earlier, a Greek government spokesman had said that Mitsotakis will will discuss recent  Turkish provocations during the NATO Summit in London and will will ask the Alliance to adopt a position on the issue.

Spokesman Stelios Petsas said that “An alliance cannot be indifferent when one member is openly violating international law and thus turning against another member. An equal-distances approach is unfair to Greece, which has never sought to stoke tensions in our region,”said on Tuesday during a press briefing”.

The Greek Prime Minister is also scheduled to meet Erdogan on Wednesday concurrent with  the NATO summit meetings.