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Greece Strongly Rejects NATO’s Position on Supporting GNA in Libya

Greece Strongly Rejects NATO’s Position on Supporting GNA in Libya

Monday, 18 May, 2020 - 07:00
European Union flags outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (Reuters)

Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, sparked controversy after he said the organization does not have to consult alliance members before taking foreign policy decisions.

Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Gennimata said that the Secretary General should be fully committed to the common positions of the alliance, “which are known to be adopted unanimously.”

He declared that Stoltenberg's recognition of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), chaired by Fayez al-Sarraj, clearly does not reflect the position of the alliance.

Last week, Stoltenberg told Italian daily La Repubblica that everyone must respect the arms embargo imposed on Libya, however, this does not mean that GNA forces and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, are “on the same level.”

“NATO is ready to give its support to the government of Tripoli” as it is the “only one recognized by the UN,” he said.

Stoltenberg was forced to clarify his statements after Greece’s criticism, saying they were misinterpreted and incorrectly translated.

Meanwhile, the Greek frigate Hydra departed Salamis base is to join EU’s operation Irini, the naval mission aimed at enforcing Libya’s arms embargo that was approved in March.

The Greek armed forces said the frigate would begin patrols at the end of May.

The mission carries a specialized team to monitor operations for a short period in Crete island, to prepare for the monitoring mission at the maritime training center, after which it will join the Irini operation.

Greece joined France, Italy, Germany and European Union countries for the operation, which could help create conditions for a ceasefire and a political solution in Libya.

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