The Brief: EU on Libya-Turkey maritime border

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By Meabh McMahon
The Brief: EU on Libya-Turkey maritime border
Copyright  REUTERS

How to respond to a controversial maritime border deal between Turkey and Libya that has upset EU member state Greece– the task of EU foreign ministers meeting today in Brussels. All eyes were on Josep Borrell to see what ideas he had up his sleeve. He is the EU's new foreign affairs chief and will be chairing these meetings for the next 5 years.

"We have been dealing with MOU (memorandum of understanding) signed with Libya and Turkey. It is clear that this document raises major concern. We expressed our solidarity to Greece and Cyprus and we will continue doing that," Joseph Borrell, EU foreign affairs chief told reporters.

For countries like Greece and Cyprus, the deal goes against international law.

"I called for the explicit condemnation of the agreement, the creation of a framework for sanctions if Turkey and the Tripoli government won't comply, and of course, the EU support for Greece and Cyprus," Nikos Dendias, Greek Foreign Affairs Minister said.

Foreign ministers also discussed a German plan to find a sustainable solution to the instability in Libya. For NGO Amnesty International, it the responsibility of Joseph Borrell to put an end to human rights abuses in the country.

"Long term sustainability in Libya is going to require justice, accountability and respect for human rights to be put first. Otherwise, this will be a reoccurring crisis that will continue throughout Borrells term and beyond," Eve Geddie, Amnesty International.

So, NGOS will keeping a close eye on him.

"I believe we should be able do more in Libya. We cannot claim to be a geopolitical power if we cannot solve problems in our immediate neighbourhood," Joseph Borrell, EU foreign affairs chief said.