Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visits eastern Libya, sends strong message to Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias made a surprise visit to Eastern Libya on Wednesday to meet with the Libyan House of Representatives in the city of Tobruk, which is currently under the control of the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Dendias tweeted on Wednesday that he travelled to the city of Tobruk, where he met with the Aqeela Saleh, the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives. “I recently arrived in Tobruk, Libya, where I will held talks with the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives and regular Greek interlocutor Aqeela Saleh.”

Dendias’ visit to eastern Libya comes during a time when Athens and Ankara are at odds over Turkey’s plans to drill for oil off the coast Cyprus and their exploration plans along the Libyan coast. Furthermore, Greece’s border disputes with Turkey have culminated in both sides engaging in aggressive actions towards one another.

"I must also make clear that we agreed that Turkey has historical responsibilities for what is happening today in Libya, as President Macron rightly stated yesterday. The import of mercenaries from Syria and the violation of the arms embargo are elements that weigh on the Turkish stance. As I just said, they create historical responsibilities."

In addition to Greece, Egypt and France have also expressed concern over Turkey’s expansion in the eastern Mediterranean.

"We also talked about the delimitation of maritime zones between Greece and Libya, not in the framework of illegality as is the case with the so-called Sarraj-Turkey memorandum, but in the framework of International Law and in follow-up to the relevant talks held between Greece and Libya in 2010. And of course I had the pleasure of conveying to the President of the Libyan House of Representatives the decision made by the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Kostas Tassoulas, to reactivate the Hellenic Parliament’s Greek-Libyan Friendship Committee."
On Tuesday, the Turkish government accused France of causing instability in Libya by pushing for a Russian presence in the North African nation. As of now, Turkey is the only foreign nation that is on the ground and engaging in military operations in Libya.

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