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. Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres registered the agreement between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction in the Mediterranean. According to Article 102 of the UN Charter, “any international treaty and agreement reached by a member of the United Nations… Be registered and published by the Secretariat as soon as possible.” By registering their agreement at the United Nations, Turkey and Libya have effectively brought it to the level of an international treaty. According to UN procedures, the organization`s member countries indicate that agreements have been signed. Registration at the United Nations does not mean that the international body must approve an agreement, in this case the agreement between Turkey and the Libyan government of the national agreement. There is no authorisation mechanism in this context.
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. Egypt also criticized the agreement and called it “illegal.” Turkey is not a signatory to the 1982 UN agreement regulating maritime borders and does not recognize the Southern Republic of Cyprus and its agreements on an exclusive economic zone with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel. 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. The maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya is Ankara`s “red line” in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Wednesday. 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.  According to the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, the new agreement consists of the establishment of 200 nautical miles of EEZ and an 18.6 nautical mile continental shelf facility.
 According to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish position is that it protects its sovereign rights over the blue economy and defends its rights over the disputed area of the Mediterranean.  According to the Anadolu agency, the legality of the EEZ borders in the Mediterranean should also be determined by continental and continental data, instead of island calculations.  But Greece`s controversial decision to sign a maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt, which Turkey says violates its continental shelf and maritime rights, has raised new tensions between its two neighbours, with Ankara accusing Athens of pursuing a maximalist policy in the eastern Mediterranean.