Greece wants to be in­cluded in UN-spon­sored talks on Libya: PM

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Athens, Greece - Greece wants to be in­cluded in UN-spon­sored talks in Jan­uary on the Libya con­flict, Prime Min­is­ter Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis said on Sun­day, as ten­sions es­ca­late with neigh­bours Tur­key over the is­sue.

Libya has be­come an­other diplo­matic front for Greece and Tur­key as the tra­di­tional ri­vals jos­tle over Mediter­ranean mar­itime rights and the com­pet­ing camps in the North African coun­try’s con­flict.

“We do not want a source of in­sta­bil­ity in our neigh­bour­hood. There­fore we want a say in de­vel­op­ments in Libya,” Mit­so­takis told To Vima weekly in an in­ter­view.

“We want to be part of the so­lu­tion in Libya, as it con­cerns us too,” he said.

The UN has said an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence will be held next month in Ber­lin to pave the way for a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to Libya's on­go­ing con­flict.

Libya has been be­set by chaos since a NATO-backed up­ris­ing top­pled and killed Moam­mar Gad­hafi in 2011, with ri­val ad­min­is­tra­tions in the east and the west vy­ing for power.

“I have re­quested, and will do so again with greater in­sis­tence, that we par­tic­i­pate in the Ber­lin process,” Mit­so­takis said.

In Novem­ber, Ankara signed a con­tentious mar­itime and mil­i­tary deal with the em­bat­tled UNrecog­nised gov­ern­ment in Tripoli.

Greece im­me­di­ately re­jected it as base­less, ar­gu­ing that Tur­key and Libya share no mar­itime bor­der.

“(Libya) is our nat­u­ral mar­itime neigh­bour, not Tur­key’s,” Mit­so­takis said on Sun­day.

The Turk­ish deal lays claim to much of the Mediter­ranean for en­ergy ex­plo­ration, con­flict­ing with ri­val claims by Greece and Cyprus.

At the same time, Tur­key is stepping up mil­i­tary aid to Tripoli, which is bat­tling the forces of mil­i­tary strong­man Khal­ifa Haf­tar for con­trol of the cap­i­tal.


Peo­ple check the site of an airstrike which killed at least two civil­ians, in the town of Zawiya, 45km west of Tripoli on Thurs­day

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