Cyprus Lebanon Delimitation Agreement

In 2005, Greece and Egypt began negotiations on border delimitation. There were two options for delimitation: a mutually agreed negotiated and agreed limit and, if negotiations failed, the use of a third-party court or arbitration proceeding. Negotiations were extended and conducted in good faith, but the geographical characteristics of Greece and the presence of third countries such as Turkey in the area of delimitation constituted legal and political difficulties. Egypt has tried not to interfere in the Greek-Turkish conflict. According to Greek expert Syrigos, “Egypt`s position was simple: first agree a border with Turkey, then tell us with which we will sign.” In 2013, Turkey proposed a maritime delimitation with Egypt. Syrigos says the best solution would have been to refer the case to the ICJ. However, in accordance with UNCLOS Article 298, Greece and Egypt both declared, respectively, on 16 January 2015 and 16 February 2017 that they did not accept the procedures set out in Part XV, Section 2 (mandatory procedures that result in binding decisions) with respect to maritime disputes. A joint proposal to the ICJ had to be agreed. In all cases, a court proceeding lasts at least 4 to 5 years. In 2019, Turkey and Libya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (here) on the delimitation of the EEZ and the continental shelf. Israel used the same coordinates from the point of arrival when, in July 2011, the Israeli cabinet approved a map of its proposed maritime borders on the basis of the Cyprus-Israel agreement and presented it to the United Nations.

The partial nature of the agreement between Greece and Egypt is consistent with the regional practice of the state in the eastern Mediterranean (see analysis). The delimitation agreements between Cyprus, Egypt, Cyprus-Lebanon and Cyprus-Israel all provide that the points for assessing defined borders can be reviewed and/or extended to the three potential equivalent points of the coasts of the States concerned “in light of the future delimitation with other neighbouring countries and in agreement with the neighbouring countries concerned”. b) In the event that both parties do not resolve the dispute within a reasonable period of time through the diplomatic channels covered by point a), the dispute is referred to arbitration proceedings. The mandate and arbitration procedure are defined by the parties by mutual agreement before the start of the arbitration procedure. Cyprus and Lebanon signed an agreement in January 2007 on the “delimitation of the exclusive economic zone” (EEZ). The agreement was ratified by Cyprus, but not by Lebanon, which opposed an Israeli-Cypriot EEZ delimitation agreement signed in December 2010. Lebanon asserts that Nicosia did not consult it on the modification of the central line with Israel, essentially on the modification of demarcation point 23 to point 1 (click on the link for the maps below), which deprived Lebanon of about 854 km2 of its territorial waters. Beirut considers that Article 1 of the 2007 Lebanon-Cyprus Agreement states that “at the request of either side, any further improvement in the accuracy of the median position will be agreed by both parties, using the same principles, if more precise data are available.” The following agreements between Cyprus and Lebanon and Cyprus-Israel, which are provided exclusively to MEES: what would be a fair solution depends on any case of maritime delimitation, so that these rules leave the door open to interpretation by negotiating states, mediators or judges.