Turkey will continue to resolutely defend its legitimate rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Saturday.
Çavuşoğlu met the U.N.-recognized Libya's Government of National Accord head Fayez al-Sarraj in the Qatari capital of Doha.
After the meeting, Çavuşoğlu announced in a tweet that the memorandum of understanding between Turkey and Libya on maritime boundaries had been discussed. Earlier on Saturday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar attended the 19th Doha Forum to meet the Libyan leader to discuss the recently inked maritime delimitation and military and security cooperation deals signed between the two countries.
On Nov. 7, Ankara reached two separate memoranda of understandings (MoU) with the Tripoli-based Libyan government, one on military cooperation and the other one on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Defense chief Akar said the agreements were based on international law and that both countries had only sought to protect their legitimate rights in the region, where tension has increased since the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Following the recent military cooperation deal, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the Libyan government made such a demand.
The memorandum asserts Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling attempts by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to resources in the area.
Fellow regional actor, Greece, did not welcome the deal and even regarded it as a violation of its own rights, though international law deems otherwise. Athens later said it would expel its Libyan envoy Mohamed Younis AB Menfi from the country in response.