Politics, Africa, Europe

Libya slams Greek FM’s meeting with Haftar

GNA considers contacts between Greece, East Libya-based commander illegal, says country's foreign minister

Gulsen Topcu   | 23.12.2019
Libya slams Greek FM’s meeting with Haftar

TRIPOLI, Libya 

Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) on Sunday slammed Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias' surprise visit to Benghazi.

The visit violates the decisions of international institutions which consider the GNA the country’s only legitimate government, said Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala in a statement released on the ministry’s social media account.

During his visit Sunday, Dendias met with East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar as well as so-called administration officials Abdullah es-Sinni and Abdulhadi al-Havic.

Dendias criticized the deal between Turkey and the GNA during the visit, according to regional media reports.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and Tripoli signed two separate memorandums of understanding (MoUs): one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The maritime pact asserted Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on Dec. 8.

On April 4, Haftar, who commands forces based in eastern Libya, launched an offensive to capture the capital Tripoli from GNA forces.

According to UN data, over a thousand people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 injured.

Since the ouster and death of ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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