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Libya's Speaker, Greek FM Discuss Activating Cairo Initiative

Libya's Speaker, Greek FM Discuss Activating Cairo Initiative

Thursday, 2 July, 2020 - 08:45
Speaker of the eastern-based Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (Greek Foreign Ministry)

The speaker of the eastern-based Libyan parliament, Aguila Saleh, received Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and discussed the repercussions of the Libyan crisis and bilateral relations.

Saleh's adviser Hamid al-Safi indicated that the meeting addressed the relations between the two countries, the situation in Libya and the region, and ways to end the Libyan crisis.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdul-Hadi al-Hawaij, as well as Dendias’ accompanying delegation.

The two sides also discussed Aguila’s recent initiative to form a new presidential council, consisting of a president and two deputies from the three historical regions of Libya.

Safi explained that Greece is pushing towards the implementation of the “Cairo initiative,” stressing Libya's right to defend itself against any invasion targeting its territory and sovereignty.

The Libyan official pointed out that Greece stresses that the international law and international maritime law are the only references to resolve disputes with Turkey and delineate maritime areas in the Mediterranean.

He criticized the unconstitutional agreement concluded between head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the demarcation of the maritime border between the two countries.

The Greek FM welcomed the Cairo initiative, adding that his country supports any political solution to end the crisis in Libya.

Dendias renewed his country's condemnation of the Turkish invasion, stressing that the presence of foreign forces in Libya violates international laws and will hinder any possible solution.

He expressed his firm belief that there is an opportunity for a solution to the crisis after all foreign forces left Libyan territories, especially Turkey.

The Greek FM stated that the agreement between Sarraj and Erdogan is “void” because it was not approved by the parliament, as the only recognized legislative authority in Libya.

The meeting also discussed the depth of historical relations between the two countries and concluded with an agreement to establish a Greek consulate in Libya, according to Safi.

The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement noting that the visit is an opportunity to agree on dealing with the Libyan crisis, based on “the Berlin Process and also the very interesting initiative from Egyptian President el-Sisi.”

“Aguila Saleh and I agreed that Libya’s future requires the withdrawal of all foreign forces. This is a necessary condition for peace and stability,” according to the statement.

The statement also stressed that Turkey has historical responsibilities for what is happening in Libya, noting that importing mercenaries from Syria and the violation of the arms embargo are elements that weigh on the Turkish stance.

The two also discussed “the possibility for a Greek Consulate to operate in Benghazi, which would facilitate trade transactions,” according to the statement that also pointed out Libya's will to replace Turkish products with other goods that come from Europe, especially Greece.

Greek diplomatic sources pointed out that the visit was part of Athens' continuous efforts to contribute to the ceasefire and find a political solution in Libya, within the framework of the United Nations Security Council and the Berlin conference.

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