Libya’s parliament in east says Turkey’s accord with Tripoli-based gov’t ‘invalid’

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Aguila Saleh Issa

The head of Libya’s eastern-based parliament on Thursday said he disagreed with an accord between Libya and Turkey establishing maritime boundaries that has infuriated Athens, Reuters reported.

Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the Nov. 27 accord establishing a sea corridor between Libya and Turkey and in areas where Greece considers it has maritime rights.

“We are here to stress that this specific agreement is rejected, it is invalid,” said Aguila Saleh Issa, speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives.

“Those that signed it do not have any legal authority to do so, since the government itself was rejected. It had failed a confidence vote twice and has not been legally sworn in at the House of Representatives,” Issa told reporters in Athens through an interpreter.

Issa is aligned with General Khalifa Haftar, who controls the east of the country, which opposes the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

Turkey says the accord aims to protect its rights and is in line with international law. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the accord will allow Turkey and Libya to conduct joint exploration operations in the region.

On Tuesday Athens said it had lodged objections with the United Nations, saying the accord violated international law. Since 2014 Libya has had competing governments based in Tripoli and the east.

Saleh’s House of Representatives was Libya’s internationally recognized chamber at the time of a UN-backed deal in 2015 that led to the formation of the GNA, but the chamber has since fragmented.

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