Greece announced it will begin training the Libyan Coast Guard on Monday, as part of a broader effort to expand its ties with the north African country.
This announcement comes just a day after the Libyan Investment Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with Enterprise Greece, the nation’s official investment agency.
“The MoU also aims to facilitate and enable the Libyan investments in European and international markets. As well as encourage investment opportunities inside and outside Libya and to benefit from global expertise,” the LIA said.
Greece Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis met with Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohamed Khalil Issa yesterday to discuss the expansion of the two nation’s alliance.
Fragogiannias and Issa both released a joint statement on Monday as a result of that meeting. In the statement, Fragogiannias demanded the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Libya, while mentioning that Greece was the first nation to establish a Consulate in Benghazi, and also the first to open up investments with Libya.
Issa said that Libya welcomes Greece’s investment and support of the country, and hopes to build on their relationship.
“What stands out in Greek-Libyan relations is that Greece has never harmed Libya, nor borne any hostility toward Libya,” Issa said, commending Greece’s presence in the Mediterranean, and internationally.
Libyan-Greek relations expand after Greek Foreign Minister’s August visit
These moves to build on Libyan-Greek relations come after Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’s visit to the country in August. Dendias vowed Greece “is back” in Libya after his official visit. While there, he met with officials of the provisional Libyan government as well as with representatives of the Greek community.
Speaking at the Greek Community Center in Benghazi, where he participated in the opening of the Greek consulate, Dendias gave his country’s promise of support.
“What I can promise to the society of Benghazi is that Greece is coming back. Coming back to help as much as we can. With our people, with our membership of the European Union, and we wish to retain our friendship with Libya and help Libya go forward and become a prosperous and stable country,” he stated.
Foreign Minister Dendias had earlier noted while speaking to Libyan officials that many of the members of the Greek community of Benghazi and Libya in general have remained there during the years of the crisis, and are now prepared to help with the country’s reconstruction.
“And there is also the presence of Greek enterprises, which have also stayed here and are operating here in Libya and in Benghazi, and they are also prepared, with their knowledge of the region, to assist with the reconstruction of the friendly country of Libya,” he concluded.