Un Turkey Libya Agreement
The registration of the agreement between Turkey and the Libyan GNA at the United Nations is clearly an ambitious and encouraging signal to other coastal states for Ankara to have a say in the future development of the region`s gas and hydrocarbon reserves. While an exclusive policy can create tension and instability, inclusion and cooperation will definitely ensure a win-win outcome for all countries in this geostrategic region. ISTANBUL (Reuters) – An agreement on the maritime demarcation between Ankara and Libya`s internationally recognized government has been registered by the United Nations, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Friday. Greece on Thursday downplayed an announcement by Turkey that its agreement on maritime borders with Libya had been registered by the UN secretariat. “The registration and publication of all types of agreements submitted by states to the UN secretariat is a formal and technical procedure that does not confer legitimacy and does not imply the recognition of the United Nations,” he said from a diplomatic source. The same sources stressed that the memorandum between Turkey and Libya was “illegal and non-aary”. Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of the National Agreement (GNA) signed the maritime agreement and a military cooperation agreement in November 2019. In October 2020, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reached an agreement between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of maritime areas in the Mediterranean. The agreement “was registered with the Secretariat in accordance with Article 102 of the United Nations Charter,” the registration certificate states.  Two months earlier (August 2020), Greece and Egypt had signed another maritime agreement delimiting an exclusive economic zone for oil and gas drilling rights to counter the Agreement between Turkey and Libya.  Turkey and the government of the national agreement have signed a maritime border treaty to create an exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean, meaning they can claim rights to basic marine resources.  According to the list of maritime border treaties, this is the first agreement ever signed between the two countries and thus introduces a new dynamic in the eastern Mediterranean region.
However, there are concerns that the agreement could fuel an “energy showdown” in the region because it is highly controversial.  In Libya, the signing of the memorandum elicited different reactions: it was welcomed by supporters of the national agreement government, but rejected by supporters of Khalifa Haftar and the Tobruk-based parliament. Ahmad Al Mismari, the official spokesman for Haftar`s forces, rejected the agreement and warned that “military force will be used to prevent any violation of Libyan sovereignty.”  Members of the Tobruk Parliament expressed similar sentiments, while President Aguila Saleh Issa sent a letter to the UN GENERAL SECRETARy, Antonio Guterres, in which they called the agreement “null and void”. Saleh called for the agreement to be ratified by the Tobruk parliament and “Libya and Turkey have no common maritime borders.”  “Any treaty and international agreement reached by a member of the United Nations after this Charter enters into force is registered and published by the Secretariat as soon as possible,” Article 102 states. Turkey is a member of the UN and the Libyan GNA is recognized by the international organization. Therefore, there are criticisms such as: “If there was a relationship with the regime of [Khalifa] Haftar, if Turkey signed an agreement with Haftar, it would be better” not to have a legal basis, since the GNA is a transitional government in Libya, created under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement, a UN-led initiative signed on 17 December 2015.