Libya's eastern authority endorses EU maritime border deal

Libya's eastern authority endorses EU maritime border deal
Eastern Libya's support for the of maritime borders agreement between Greece and Italy is intended to counter Turkish 'ambitions' in the Mediterranean.
2 min read
Libya's eastern authority is based in Tobruk, while Tripoli houses the UN-backed government [Getty]
The parliament of Libya's eastern authority has endorsed a recently signed agreement demarcating the maritime borders between Greece and Italy.

The agreement, signed Tuesday in Athens, demarcates the exclusive economic zone - the maritime area in which a nation has the right of energy exploration and use of marine resources - between the two neighbours, as well as settling fishing rights.

It tackled an issue that had been pending for 40 years, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a statement.

Talal Al-Mihoub, chair of the eastern Libyan authority's House of Representatives' Defence and National Security Committee, said Libya hoped it could join the agreement, in particular to counter Turkish "ambitions in the Mediterranean basin," which he called a threat to "stability and security in our country and the region."

Last November, Turkey signed a maritime boundary agreement with Libya's rival UN-backed government that was strongly opposed and considered illegal by Greece, Egypt and Cyprus.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011 when a civil war toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed.

The country has since split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.

Eastern-based forces led by rogue warlord Khalifa Haftar, launched an offensive trying to take the capital of the western government, Tripoli, in April 2019.

The chaos in the oil-rich country has steadily worsened as foreign backers increasingly intervened, despite pledges to the contrary at a high-profile peace summit in Berlin earlier this year.

The Tripoli-based forces, backed by Turkey, gained the upper hand last week after retaking the capital's airport, all main entrance and exit points to the capital and a string of key towns near it, which forced Hiftar's fighters to withdraw, and a ceasefire was declared soon after.

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