Reuters said Turkey considered the agreement null and void and that the agreement had also violated Libya`s psychological rights. “This is a historic day, it is an exemplary and important agreement between two neighbouring friendly countries,” Dendias said in live statements from the Egyptian capital. Shortly after the conclusion of the Greece-Egypt agreement, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that the agreement “supports the Turkish thesis that the islands do not have a continental shelf”. This view hardly convinces anyone, even vaguely, anyone who knows, even vaguely, Article 121 of UNCLOS, which has customary law status (Nicaragua/Colombia 2012, point 139), and who is familiar with Turkey`s delimitation practices. Turkey cannot and will not deny that the islands produce the full range of maritime zones. The “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and Turkey (the only country it recognises) concluded a “continental delimitation agreement” in 2011 (see Ioannides analysis). In a letter to the UN Security Council on 13 May 2020, Libya said its agreement with Turkey “does not affect the rights of third parties.” However, the map attached to the MoU clearly showed that the presence of Greek islands, such as Crete, Rhodes and Kastellorizo, and related marine areas, had been ignored. In addition, Turkey and Libya have announced energy exploration plans in the areas mentioned in the MoU. The agreement prompted Greece to quickly reach an agreement with Egypt. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the exclusive area designated in the agreement was under the Turkish continental shelf. Ankara considers the agreement null and void and added that the agreement also violates Libya`s maritime rights. In response to the agreement between Egypt and Greece on maritime delimitation, Turkey says it is part of the Turkish continental shelf, as announced by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday. Apparently, to block Turkey`s legitimate claims, Greece signed an agreement on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with Italy and Egypt on 9 June.
Dendias said the agreement was “historic” and had come to fruition after long rounds of negotiations, adding that the agreement would guarantee cooperation between the two countries. Last year, the two sides agreed on maritime borders in an agreement that Egypt and Greece called illegal and a violation of international law. Greece claims to have been rejected on its continental shelf and in particular off the island of Crete. Egypt and Greece sign agreements on the exclusive economic zone. Second, the precise limits of maritime requirements that overlap with other states in the territories are clarified. “There is now an international dispute that theoretically limits Turkey`s capacity for action,” Syrigos said. The conflict between the Greek-Turkish maritime borders had probably crystallized long before the agreement between Turkey and Libya and the Greece-Egypt agreement. However, the nature, basic principles and exact geographic scope of these overlapping requirements are now much clearer.
This is important to define the geographical scope of UNCLOS`s commitment to “not jeopardize or impede the completion of the final agreement” and restriction obligations under customary international law (see Barrett, Burke et al. in the 2016 BIICL report on state obligations with respect to unrestricted maritime areas).