The State Department spokesman referred to Turkey’s memorandum of understanding with the Libyan National Agreement Government, as ‘provocative’ and ‘unhelpful’, while he recognized that Turkey’s claims are contrary to international law, which stipulates that inhabited islands are on the same footing as mainland coastline regarding the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.

The US official noted that the text does not take into account the interests of all the states concerned, as it includes maritime areas owned or claimed by Greece.

Continuing, the State Department spokesman said that although the US does not generally take a position on other states’ maritime boundary disputes in, in this case they urge all parties involved to avoid any action that risks escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean at this sensitive time.