Italy on Tuesday dismissed Turkish claims that the country is allegedly negotiating with Ankara the terms for the exploitation of Libya’s oil resources, describing them as “unfounded.”
The Italian Foreign Ministry denied what it said were "baseless media rumors", claiming that Rome is negotiating with Turkey to exploit oil resources off Libya, within the framework of the recent memorandum of understanding between Ankara and Tripoli regarding the delineation of the maritime borders between the two countries.
“Italy has believed for long that the exploitation of the energy resources in the Mediterranean area should be seen as an opportunity to be seized through the cooperation of all Mediterranean States,” the country's Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
“In order to achieve this, it is necessary to start negotiations between all the parties involved, especially regarding the theme of the delimitation of maritime areas,” it added, noting that Rome has clarified its position “for months” and during each meeting with the Turkish authorities.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Monday that Ankara was in talks with Rome about drilling off Libya, in the maritime region delimitated in a Memorandum of Understanding between Ankara and Tripoli-based government.