Smoke fumes rise above buildings in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, during shelling on May 9, 2020. (AFP Photo)
CAIRO – 16 May 2020: Turkey has announced it intents to begin oil and gas exploration in an unspecified area off Libya’s coast, exposing Erdogan’s real intentions behind an illegal intervention in the country through terrorists and mercenaries.
State-run oil firm Turkish Petroleum has submitted an application to the Tripoli government to start drilling in parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Thursday.
“Exploration will begin as soon as the process is completed,” he was quoted as saying.
According to experts, Ankara, which is facing serious economic pressure, is trying to assert control over natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, taking advantage of the current coronavirus pandemic and countries’ preoccupation with fighting it.
Experts further added that Ankara is also seeking to use its influence over the Sarraj government to expand the scope of its drilling activities in the Mediterranean.
For their part, foreign ministers of the UAE, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and France called on Turkey to “fully respect the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of all states in their maritime zones in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
The ministers condemned “the illegal Turkish moves” in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, which they said represent “a violation of international law according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
In earlier remarks, Leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar has vowed to defeat militias and put a stop to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans in the country.
LNA spokesman Major General Ahmed al-Mismari has announced that the Army will not stop until liberating Tripoli and defeating extremists, criminal militias, mercenaries, foreign fighters, and Turkish invaders.
He also warned foreign troops that they are running low on time and the army will not stop until Erdogan’s devious scheme is terminated.