Athens to Libyan Ambassador: Deal with Turkey or Face Deportation – Al Marsad

The Government of Greece took a firm stance against the GNA-Turkey agreement on maritime borders. The Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias summoned the Libyan Ambassador to present details of his country’s memorandum with Turkey. He warned the Libyan Ambassador to Greece that he had until next Thursday 6 December to disclose the details of the agreement or face deportation. The Greek government will also be inviting the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR) to Athens for talks. 

[Athens, 30 November 2019] – According to the Greek newspaper Proto Thema, the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias asked the Libyan ambassador to Greece to present details of Libya’s agreement with Turkey by Thursday, otherwise he would be deported from Greece since he would be considered persona non grata. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Athens Burak Ozugergin to ask for further explanation. 

The Greek government has pursued intensive diplomatic action since the announce of the GNA-Turkish agreement was made public.

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis raised the issue both with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during their meeting in Rome and during his telephone conversation with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron. 

The Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias spoke also with his Cypriot and Egyptian counterparts, Nikos Christodoulides and Sameh Shoukry respectively.

Furthermore, the Permanent Representation of Greece to the EU informed the Commission and in particular the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini on the development of the situation. The Permanent Representative of Greece also raised the of the GNA-Turkey it within the framework of the COREPER, the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union. Following sustained diplomatic pressure the EU has protested to both Tripoli and Ankara. The European Union has expressed its displeasure about the Agreement to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which signed the deal on Wednesday. Greece is among the countries that have recognized the GNA and this development seriously calls into question the UN mandate that has been bestowed to the GNA by the international community without Libyan parliamentary approval.

Next week Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will make a series of contacts with his counterparts from major countries, on the sidelines of NATO and OSCE meetings. At the same time, Greece has reportedly sent an invitation to the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, to visit Athens for talks.

Speaker of the Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Dendias described the Agreement as being “on the verge of ridiculous.” And he told journalists: “The signing by Turkey and Libya of a memorandum of understanding cannot violate the sovereign rights of third countries. Such an action would be a flagrant violation of the International Law of the Sea and would produce no legal effect. Moreover, such an action would not be consistent with the principle of good neighbourliness, which should govern relations between neighbouring states.”

The demarcation of maritime boundaries that define the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) are agreed between two countries. However they can not be done deliberately, especially when islands of other countries belong to these areas. According to the Greek government the Turkish-GNA agreement could not stand in any international court.

In Libya both the House of Representatives (HoR) and the Interim Government have condemned the Tripoli-based GNA for having signed such a memorandum. The HoR said it as a “flagrant breach of the country’s security and sovereignty”.

Sources: Proto Thema and other Greek media sources

 

FURTHER RESOURCES

Greece and Egypt Reject the Sarraj-Turkey Agreement on Maritime Boundaries

GNA-Turkey Agreement Could Lead to Military Confrontation in the Mediterranean Basin