On April 14, 2021, the Greek Prime Minister MITSOTAKIS said after a meeting with the president of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed al-MENFI in Athens that Greece and Libya have agreed to hold talks on marking out their maritime zones in the Mediterranean.
After the meeting, MITSOTAKIS said they: “agreed on the immediate resumption of talks between Greece and Libya on the delimitation of the maritime zones”.
“I want you to know that in Greece, Libya will always have a stable friend and ally within the European Union, so that … it can find its way back to stability and prosperity,” MITSOTAKIS told al-MENFI.
Greece wants to reset relations with Libya, which were soured by the Tripoli government’s signing a maritime boundary accord in 2019 with Turkey.
The issue has fed into tensions between Athens and Ankara over territorial and energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean that brought the two NATO countries close to armed conflict last year.
On April 13, 2021, Turkish President ERDOGAN said Turkey and Libya were committed to the 2019 accord after talks with Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid DBEIBEH in Ankara.
That accord mapped out a sea boundary between Turkey and Libya close to the Greek island of Crete, and Mohamed al-MENFI, that previously served as an ambassador to Greece was expelled.
Greece signed an agreement in 2019 with Egypt designating an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean, which Turkey has said infringes its own continental shelf, and which overlaps with the maritime zones it agreed with Libya.
Al-MENFI said in Athens that: “the path between Libya and the European Union, passes through Greece”. “In other words, if Libya hopes for EU investments that will help rebuild the war-torn country, it must make good with a member of the European Union that has serious complaints against it”.
MENFI held bilateral talks with Greek President Katerina SAKELLAROUPOULOU during the official visit to Greece, where he pointed out the need to activate joint cooperation mechanisms, especially in the field of electricity and renewable energy. According to MENFI’s media office, the talks focused on bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to strengthen them, discussing all outstanding issues, and exchanging views on issues of common interest.
Nikos DENDIAS the Greek Foreign Minister is due to visit Turkey on April 15, 2021, for talks on various issues of contention.
This article was edited using the data from the Aljazeera.com, Reuters.com, En.alwasat.ly, Timesofindia.indiatimes.com, English.aawsat.com, and Financialpost.com.