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Greece to Ask for NATO Support over Deal between Turkey, GNA

Greece to Ask for NATO Support over Deal between Turkey, GNA

Monday, 2 December, 2019 - 06:30
GNA leader Fayez al-Sarraj addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Greece will seek support from NATO at the alliance's summit in London this week following a military deal signed by Turkey and Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA), Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with GNA leader Fayed al-Sarraj on Wednesday to sign agreements on security and military cooperation, as well as maritime jurisdictions.

The agreements have also raised hackles in Egypt and Cyprus, according to the UN's Libya envoy Ghassan Salame.

"An alliance cannot remain indifferent when one of its members openly violates international law and aims (to harm) another member," Mitsotakis said in a speech to his New Democracy party on Sunday.

Athens last week expressed its dissatisfaction with the accord and summoned the ambassadors of Turkey and Libya in Greece to ask for information on its content.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Sunday met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Cairo to discuss the matter.

“We agreed that that Mr. Sarraj most likely lacks the mandate to sign (two agreements with Turkey), which anyway function as destabilizing factors in the area,” Dendias said after the meeting.

“We also agreed with (Shoukry) to accelerate talks between teams of experts to define and delineate Exclusive Economic Zones between Greece and Egypt,” Dendias added.

The deal comes despite calls from the Arab League -- which includes Libya -- to end cooperation with Turkey in protest of its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria last month. 

Located in the southeastern Mediterranean, Greece -- a NATO member like Turkey -- maintains a delicate relationship with its neighbor, which has become a gateway to Europe with thousands of asylum-seekers flocking to the Greek islands.

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