By Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s landmark pact with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) setting out the countries’ Eastern Mediterranean maritime boundaries went into effect Saturday with its publication in Turkey’s Official Gazette.
Signed on Nov. 27 and passed by Turkey's parliament this Thursday, the memorandum determining both countries' marine jurisdictions rejects unilateral and illegal activities by other regional countries and international firms and aims to protect the rights of both countries.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Mediterranean region is estimated to boast millions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic meters of natural gas, worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Turkey, for its part, has urged regional countries to take an equality-based approach, but its calls have largely fallen on deaf ears. Turkey continues its drilling and discovery operations in the region under the protection of the country's navy.
In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey does not want any escalation in the region but stands ready to respond to possible hostilities.
Since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed, Libya has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which military commander Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and the Government of National Accord, which enjoys UN recognition.