Greece has condemned a deal between Turkey and Libya to delineate maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.

On Wednesday a memorandum of understanding on the “delimitation of maritime jurisdictions” was signed in Istanbul by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. However no details have been revealed, nor has it been specified where Turkish and Libyan waters meet.

“This means protecting Turkey’s rights deriving from international law,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

In response, Athens issued a statement, highlighting that the memorandum could not violate the sovereign rights of third countries.

“Such an action would be a flagrant violation of the International Law of the Sea and would produce no legal effect,” said ministry spokesman Alexandros Gennimatas.

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Further to that, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias described the agreement as “completely unacceptable” and “beyond all reason”, reaching out to his counterparts in Cyprus and Egypt to discuss the matter, as well as the European Union.

“Such an effort shows a complete lack of geographic knowledge, because it obviously ignores something that I think everyone can see – that between these two countries lies the large geographical land area of Crete,” Mr Dendias said. “Consequently such an attempt borders on the absurd.”

Egypt has dismissed the deal as “illegal and not binding or affecting the interests and the rights of any third parties”.

Tensions between neighbours Athens and Ankara had already been running high as a result of Turkish drilling off the coast of Cyprus.

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