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Greece Calls on Libya to Scrap Maritime Deal with Turkey

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Credit: Greek Government

The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, called on Libya to scrap the illegal 2019 maritime boundaries agreement with Turkey during his first visit to the country on Tuesday.

Mitsotakis said in a joint press briefing with Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh in Tripoli that for Greece “it is very important, the annulment of illegal documents.

“They were presented as supposedly transnational agreements but have no legal effect, as expressly stated by the European Council.”

Athens is fiercely opposed to the deal between Ankara and Tripoli, which claims much of the Mediterranean for energy exploration and as an Exclusive Economic Zone, conflicting with international law and the claims by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.

The 2019 maritime agreement was also condemned by the United States.

Greece calls for withdrawal of foreign troops

Mitsotakis also stressed that a prerequisite for improved relations between Greece and Libya includes the immediate and complete withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.

He said that Greece will stand by Libya on the path to free national elections, and added that “it is time we leave behind us everything that tried our relations in the past.”

The Greek PM’s visit to Libya appears to have been undertaken in hopes that it will normalize relations between Greece and the North African country.

Greece will soon be reopening its Embassy in Tripoli, which will mark the resumption of relations with the neighboring country.

“My main purpose was to highlight the reopening of the Greek Embassy as a landmark of the dynamic restart of Greek-Libyan relations, and to convey a message of support to Libya’s efforts towards peace and progress,” Mitsotakis said.

Greece’s embassy in Tripoli has been closed since July of 2014, when a Greek Navy frigate and two Greek other vessels helped to evacuate nearly 200 Greeks and other foreigners as the capital descended into chaos and militia violence.

“The reopening of the Greek Embassy in Tripoli and the re-establishment of the General Consulate in Benghazi will significantly contribute to the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in all sectors, particularly in energy, construction and security, with great prospects for economic and trade relations,” a Greek government spokesman said.

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