Turkish committee backs contentious maritime deal with Libya

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee has endorsed a controversial deal on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean reached between Turkey and Libya’s U.N.-supported government.

The committee approved the agreement, which would give Turkey access to an economic zone across the Mediterranean, on Thursday. The parliament’s general assembly was expected to hold a final vote later in the day.

Turkey signed the agreement last week with Libya’s Tripoli-based government, led by Fayez Sarraj, which controls some of the country’s west.

The deal sparked outrage in the Libyan parliament, which is based in the east and is aligned with self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

The deal has also added tension to an ongoing dispute with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt over oil-and-gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Associated Press