İrem UZUN -TDO- Greece has ordered the expulsion of the Libyan ambassador in an escalation of a dispute over a controversial deal signed between Libya's UN-supported government and Turkey on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. The Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, said the ambassador, Mohamed Younis AB Menfi, had been summoned to the ministry in the morning to be informed of the decision, and was given 72 hours to leave the country.
Under the terms of a deal reached between Libya and Turkey on 27 November, Turkey gets access to a zone across the Mediterranean, ignoring the objections of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which lie between Turkey and Libya geographically. Greece called the accord a "blatant violation of international law" whereas Ankara claims it is "protecting its rights". "Not only is it geographically and historically invalid - wiping Greek islands off the map - but because it led Turkey to an unprecedented diplomatic isolation," Greek Foreign Minister said.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Sunday that the agreement was "in accordance with the court decisions that create the international jurisprudence and international law including the relevant articles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea". In televised comments during a visit to Rome, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters that "Expelling an ambassador just because of the [agreement] that we signed is not a mature behaviour in diplomacy. This is outrageous".