Video: The Turkish-Libyan Maritime Agreement and the Struggle over the Mediterranean

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Dore Gold - Turkey's AKP Party, which has ruled for nearly 20 years, has increasingly become preoccupied with the nation's Ottoman past, especially under the leadership of President Erdogan. At its zenith, the Ottoman Empire stretched from Algiers in the west to Iraq in the east. The Ottomans seized Jerusalem in 1517. A new opportunity for restoring what are viewed as former Ottoman territorial claims has recently arisen with the Turkish-Libyan maritime agreements concluded on November 27, 2019. While Libya is split between two governments, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj based in Tripoli, with Turkish support, created an Exclusive Economic Zone for Libya extending 200 nautical miles into the Mediterranean Sea. Libya's Exclusive Economic Zone now touches the Exclusive Economic Zone of Turkey, making their maritime borders contiguous in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. These agreements do not establish sovereignty over the Mediterranean seabed, but they do help define the rights of Mediterranean states to exploit hydrocarbon resources. The Libyan move was opposed by many states; Egypt registered its objections to the UN Security Council. Israeli leaders privately called the Libyan-Turkish deal illegal. The writer, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center.

2019-12-31 00:00:00

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