Turkey may begin oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean within three or four months under a deal it signed with Libya, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Friday. The agreement has been condemned by others in the region.

Libya’s internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed the maritime delimitation deal last year with Ankara. Turkey says it creates an exclusive economic zone from its southern coast to Libya’s northeast coast, and protects rights to resources.

Greece, Cyprus and others oppose the accord and call it illegal, an accusation Ankara has rejected. The EU also opposes the maritime deal that was signed alongside an agreement for Turkey to provide military support to the GNA. The Tripoli-based government has battled forces of eastern Libya for more than a year.

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