Libya: Turkey to Begin Oil Exploration in 3 Months
Turkey may begin oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean within three or four months under a deal it signed with Libya, according to Energy Minister Fatih Donmez on Friday.
Last year, Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Government of the National Accord (GNA), signed the maritime delimitation deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
World countries including Greece and Cyprus declared their condemnation of that “illegal and illegitimate deal.” The European Union also opposes the maritime deal that was signed alongside an agreement for Turkey to provide military support to the GNA.
“Speaking at a ceremony to mark the launch of Turkey’s Fatih oil-and-gas drilling ship to the Black Sea, Donmez said Turkish Petroleum (TPAO), which had applied for an exploration permit in the eastern Mediterranean, would begin operations in areas under its license after the process was completed,” Reuters reported on Friday.
“The Fatih drill ship would hold its first operation in the Black Sea on July 15, the anniversary of a 2016 failed coup attempt. Friday also marked the anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1453,” said Donmez.
Moscow Condemns Ankara’s Support to GNA
In another regard, Russia warned, on Friday, the deterioration of the situation in the war-torn country.
Interfax news agency quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, as saying that foreign aid to the parties to the conflict had changed the balance of power on the ground in Libya.
This came hours after it was reported that 50 ISIS fighters had arrived in Tripoli from Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Thursday evening.
Turkey Defies World Powers
For several months, Turkey has moved fighters from factions loyal to it in northern Syria to Tripoli to fight alongside the GNA forces and militias, backed by Ankara, against the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
On Wednesday, several European countries, led by France, warned of “Syrianization” of Libya, calling on Turkey to stop sending fighters.
It is noteworthy that, despite the signing of the Berlin Agreement last January, which included a pledge from the participating countries not to supply the warring parties with arms or interfere in the conflict between the Libyan parties, Ankara continues to intervene and stands with the GNA in Tripoli.