Nine months later, in August 2020, Greece and Egypt signed a maritime agreement delimiting an exclusive economic zone for oil and gas drilling rights to counter the agreement between Turkey and the GNA.  Turkey and Libya`s Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a maritime border treaty[a] to establish an exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean, allowing them to claim rights to seabed resources.  According to the list of maritime border treaties, this is the first agreement ever signed between the two countries. However, fears have been expressed that the deal could fuel an “energy confrontation” in this region, as it has been highly controversial.  The entire section of Article IV and its detailed breakdown of dispute clauses are not familiar with a typical statement of intent and show once again that the wording is more serious than it has been presented to the Libyan public. It is clear from the text and content of the maritime borders between the GNA and Turkey and the Agreement on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that this is a binding and integrated agreement concluded under the name of a Memorandum of Understanding, but subject to the terms of the agreements and not the memoranda of understanding. Tag Agreement coordinates English Libya MoU text Turkey According to Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, the new agreement consists of the establishment of a 200-nautical-mile EEZ and an 18.6-nautical-mile facility from the continental shelf.  The Turkish position, according to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is that it protects its sovereign rights over the blue economy and defends its legal claims to the disputed territory of the Mediterranean.  According to Anadolu Agency, the legality of EEZ borders in the Mediterranean should also be determined by continental shelves and continental countries and not by island calculations.  The text of the alleged declaration of intent is indeed peculiar and uses language and implication that does not coincide with a memorandum. Turkey has also signed an agreement with the Tripoli-based government that establishes the maritime borders between the two Mediterranean countries, sparking protests from Greece and Cyprus. Both countries condemned the agreement, saying it was a serious violation of international law that did not take into account the rights of other Eastern Mediterranean countries.
Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and France, as well as the EU and the US State Department, as well as the EU and the US State Department, also strongly condemned the agreement. In Libya, in addition to the House of Representatives (HOR, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which boycotts members of the Presidential Council, think tanks such as the Libyan Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) and many institutions and dignitaries from across Libya have also raised their voices and strongly condemned the GNA for signing the agreement with Turkey, thus threatening Libya`s national sovereignty, peace and stability in the Mediterranean. After the agreement, Turkey and the Libyan Government, recognized by the United Nations, experienced increased cooperation. This cooperation ranges from Turkish offshore exploration efforts to providing assistance to the Government of National Accord for the Libyan civil war (2014-2020).  As the issues arising from the dispute continue to evolve, all the consequences of this naval dispute remain to be seen. Nordic Monitor has received a copy of a recent maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya that sets the coordinates of the Turkish-Libyan continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone. The agreement “has been registered with the Secretariat in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations,” the registration certificate states.   The Agreement stipulates that Turkey and Libya have established a precise and equitable demarcation of their respective maritime areas in the Mediterranean, in which the Parties exercise their sovereignty and sovereign rights and/or jurisdiction in accordance with the applicable rules of international law, taking into account all relevant circumstances. The agreement, officially titled “Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Libya on the Delimitation of Maritime Jurisdiction areas in the Mediterranean,” has been criticized in the Mediterranean, particularly by countries such as Egypt, Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean. EXCLUSIVE: Al Marsad received an exclusive scanned copy of the controversial Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Turkish government of Recep Erdogan on maritime jurisdiction.
It is clear from the text of the agreement that this is a binding and integrated agreement and not the declaration of intent it claims to be. However, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord has not sought approval and is not prepared to seek approval from Libya`s only legitimate parliament, the House of Representatives. The GNA therefore not only violates the Skhirat Agreement, but also violates its own letter of intent, i.e. the “domestic legal procedures” it must follow for the Agreement to take effect, taking into account the provisions contained herein. The GNA did not meet the specified requirements. It is clear from the text of the agreement that this is not a memorandum of understanding, but a full-fledged agreement between two countries. Most importantly, Article VI of the GNA-Turkey Maritime Memorandum of Understanding stipulates that each party shall refer them back to its successive parliament for approval and ratification. This explains why the Turkish side referred the said Memorandum of Understanding back to its parliament today, as this is a procedure that concerns agreements between states and not memoranda. In August 2020, Egypt and Greece signed an agreement establishing an exclusive economic zone between the two countries. The announcement was made at a joint press conference with the foreign ministers of the two countries, saying that the agreement provides for a partial demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries and that the remaining demarcation will be carried out through consultations.  Parliaments in both countries quickly ratified the agreement, and in October 2020, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed the agreement, which was later published in the country`s official gazette. Turkey rejected the agreement between Greece and Egypt as “null and void,” adding that Greece and Egypt have no mutual maritime border.  “With regard to the agreements signed by our countries, especially the maritime agreement, we reaffirm that these agreements are valid,” Dbeibah said after talks with Erdogan. Based on this agreement, Turkey would be able to send troops to help Libya launch joint maritime exploration activities and gain a position of strength in decisions regarding gas pipelines that run through these sections of the seabed. Article III of the Maritime Memorandum of Understanding provides that it is “registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with ARTICLE 102 of the Charter of the United Nations” under international agreements and treaties. “The agreement with Libya does not completely resolve disputes over maritime jurisdictions in the eastern Mediterranean, but Ankara considers the agreement an important advantage to support its legal and political arguments,” comments the Libyan Information Observatory almarsad, for example, Article IV states: “Any dispute between the parties arising from the interpretation or implementation of this memorandum of understanding, is carried out through diplomatic channels in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation in accordance with Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations. A Memorandum of Understanding is a serious agreement, but it is never legally binding unless they become comprehensive legal agreements that respect all the provisions necessary for its force. .