A Tripoli Appeals Court yesterday accepted an appeal against the October 2022 Libyan-Turkish energy exploration MoU and referred it for investigation.
It will be recalled that in October 2022, Turkey and the current Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba Libyan Government of National Unity signed a preliminary energy exploration deal based on the 2019 Libyan Turkish Maritime Agreement. The 2019 deal was rejected by several countries including Greece and Egypt and the EU. Libya’s parliament, House of Representatives (HoR) rejected the deal, saying that it was signed by a Libya government which no longer has a mandate.
The EU said that the details of the new agreement are not known yet and couldn’t make a statement on that deal but reminded that the previous agreement “does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third states“.
The Tripoli Appeal Court ruled on the appeal filed by lawyer, Ms. Thuraya Al-Tuwaibi, lawyer Mr. Abdul Majid Al-Miyet, lawyer Mr. Fouad El-Shahawi, lawyer Mr. Walid Ragab, and lawyer Mr. Abdel Salam Dugimish.
The appeal seeks to cancel the cooperation agreement in the field of hydrocarbons signed between the Turkish and Libyan states, with the following pronouncement:
“The appeal was accepted in form and in the urgent part by stopping the implementation of the contested agreement, and the clerks’ office ordered to refer the case file for investigation.”
It is mentioned in the appeal that the Libya Political Agreement (LPA) prevents Abdel Hamid Aldabaiba’s current Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU), born out of the LPA, from concluding any agreements.
It also says that the Libyan Turkish Agreement was called a Memorandum of Understanding, whereas in effect, it is a complete and wide-ranging oil agreement. The agreement is considered a violation of several provisions of the oil law, most notably the lack of experience of Turkish companies in this field.
The appeal also says that the agreement:
- Stipulated the secrecy of what results from its cooperation, which is a violation of the Audit Bureau’s law.
- Stripped the Libyan Oil Corporation’s (NOC) of its competence in the exclusiveness of the oil trade.
- Contains texts with different translations.
- Causes serious damage that cannot be remedied when Turkey begins the work of the agreement, which makes it impossible to restore the situation to what it was before it was signed.
For its part, Turkey stated that its companies will start implementing the agreement without obtaining a concession contract, which is a violation of Libya’s oil law, and the agreement entails an obligation on Libya for an indefinite period.