Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration deal suspended by Libyan court

The Court of Appeal in Tripoli has decreed on Tuesday the temporary suspension of the controversial memorandum of understanding for the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean that the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU) signed with Turkey last October.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit by three lawyers challenging the “legality” of the agreement, which has also been rejected by Greece, Egypt and Cyprus as infringing on their economic rights in an area with significant gas fields.

Opponents of the memorandum also argue that Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibé’s GUN does not have the power to approve such strategic agreements, as it is a transitional government whose mandate expired almost a year ago.

The end of Dbeibé’s term in office, which he is betting will keep him in power until elections are held, led the Parliament, located in the eastern city of Tobruk, to appoint a parallel government to the one in Tripoli, led by Fathi Bashagha, which returned the country to political deadlock.