In a significant change in the international reactions about signing the two memoranda of maritime and security understanding between Libya and Turkey, some international stance took another path in giving Libya the right to sign.
Egypt is backing down
The Egyptian stance, which opposed the signing of the memorandum, began to change after it was confronted by Libyan insistence to move forward with the agreement, as Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed that “the memorandum does not affect the interests of his country, and we wonder about the purpose of this agreement and the speed of its conclusion.
In an escalatory measure, Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador in Athens, protesting the signing by Libya of two memoranda of understanding with Turkey after being approved by the Presidential Council and the Turkish Parliament. Observers saw that the Greek protest against this memorandum illustrates the Greek aspirations for the economic resources in the Libyan territorial waters, which they are trying to seize.
The European Union comments
In response to Greece’s position, the European Union refused to expel the Libyan ambassador accredited to them, in light of the memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and Libya. The spokesperson for the European Commissioner, Peter Stano, according to Italian news agency AKI, said that the union recognizes the Sarag government, and still considers it an interlocutor, indicating that Greece’s decision to expel the Libyan ambassador does not fall within the authority of the union.
For his part, Foreign Minister Mohamed Sayala stressed that the expulsion of Greece by our ambassador is a matter of its own, and that Libya reserves the right to conclude understandings with whom we want. Sayala added in a press statements that Greece has the right to resort to the international judiciary in its objection to the Memorandum of Understanding that we concluded with Ankara, stressing that Libya would reciprocate the action if Greece had a diplomatic representative in Tripoli.
As for Turkey, its foreign minister, Mevlev Jawishoglu, described the expulsion of Greece of the Libyan ambassador in Athens, in light of the maritime agreement signed with his country as “disgraceful” .”The expulsion of the ambassador because of the (agreement) that we signed is immature behavior in diplomacy,” Jawishoglu told reporters.