Turkish Defence Minister: Expulsion of Libyan Ambassador from Athens will not affect memorandum with Libya

Turkey continues to raise the stakes in the Mediterranean

Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar spoke said on Monday morning that the expulsion of the Libyan Ambassador to Athens would in no way affect the memorandum between Turkey and Libya.

Speaking to reporters about his country’s relations with NATO he said: “Turkey’s relationship with NATO is stronger and more meaningful. There is no point in doubting Turkey. When we raise some claims about our rights within the framework of NATO, this should not be taken as being in opposition to NATO. By protecting our southern borders, we are protecting NATO and Europe.”

Turkey signed a memorandum with the current Libyan government which violates the sovereign rights of Greek islands as it directly disputes their right to have territorial borders (EEZ) only acknowledging a 6-mile continetal shelf.

He went on to allude to the expulsion of the Libyan diplomate from Athens following the Turkey-Libya agreement: “We consider it a move of weakness. It will not affect the final result. We propose to approach the events calmly and reasonably, always respecting international law. This agreement is in full harmony with international law and I would like to emphasise that. The memorandum with Libya is not opposed to our neighbours, but was created to monitor the rights and interests of two sovereign states, Turkey and Libya.”