Mitsotakis: Greece and Libya Have Agreed to Hold Talks on Maritime Zones – Al Marsad

The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met this morning at the Maximos Mansion with the President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi. The Greek Prime Minister announced this morning that Greece and Libya have agreed to hold talks on the maritime zones. 

(LIBYA, 14 April 2021) – During the meeting, the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi, agreed on the immediate resumption of talks between Greece and Libya on the delimitation of the Maritime Zones under the coordination of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries,.

The prospects of expanding economic relations were also discussed, which will be the subject of the visit of the Deputy Foreign Minister, Kostas Fragogiannis, to Libya soon. Both leaders emphasized the need for cooperation in the field of culture.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Foreign Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, the Government Spokeswoman, Aristotle Peloni and the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Eleni Sourani.

REAFFIRM GREEK-LIBYAN RELATIONS

Prime Minister Mitsotakis said to President al-Menfi: “Mr. President, welcome to Athens. And let me, at the beginning of Ramadan, wish you Ramadan Kareem. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to meet a few days after my visit to Libya. To reaffirm that the Greek-Libyan relations, after some periods of difficulty, are at the beginning of a very fertile and productive period.”

“I want you to know that Greece will stand by you and the Libyan people, in your difficult task of rebuilding your homeland, as you lead the country to elections at the end of the year, so that the Libyan people themselves can take the country’s fate into their own hands, said Mitsotakis.

He also emphasised, “As we had the opportunity to discuss in Libya, a prerequisite for this is the withdrawal of all troops from Libya.”

MARITIME ZONES

Mitsotakis said, “And I welcome the intention of you and the Prime Minister of Libya, your country, to discuss with Greece critical issues such as the delimitation of maritime zones.”

Greece is a friendly country to Libya, the Greek people are a friendly people of Libya, our relations are lost in the depths of the centuries and I want you to know that in Greece Libya will always have a stable friend and ally within of the European Union, so that your beautiful but tried and true country finds its way back to stability and prosperity,” said the Greek Prime Minister.

LIBYA HAS DEEP RELATIONS WITH GREECE

On is part, Libyan President Mohamed al-Menfi said, “Our main concern has always been Greece to become the gateway to the European Union”.

“I am indeed a friend of Greece, I really love this city and I love this country and I love this people, from whom we have seen only good. And of course I want to thank the President of Greece, the Prime Minister of Greece, who represent this friendly Greek people,” said al-Menfi.

He added, “Of course our relations, the relations of our two peoples are separate relations, they are special relations, they are lost in the depths of the centuries, more than two thousand years and we look forward and hope to improve especially with the neighboring country, Greece, with which we are connected inseparable historical ties.” He said there  was a common history between Libya and Greece.

THE ORACLE AT DELPHI

Al-Menfi went on to say: “An oracle was given by the Oracle at Delphi that mentioned the establishment of three large colonies in the Cyrenaica (Barqa) region of eastern Libya—so I want to say that these relationships were not only created on a material background but, given the Oracle’s oracle, I can say that they also have a spiritual basis.”

GATEWAY TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

“We are always interested in our friendship with the European Union and our main concern has always been for Greece to become the gateway to the European Union,” said the Libyan President.

He stressed, “We take care of the development of relations, we take care of the opening of new horizons in relations, especially in relations with Greece. And if at some point these relationships went through some difficult times, this can be resolved through dialogue and I personally believe that the commonalities that unite us will help us to cope with any difficulties.”

“WE MUST STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC COOPERATION”

“When I was ambassador, here in Athens, I took care to increase the percentage of presence of Greek companies in my country, having in mind the work undertaken by the company Mytilineos in the field of electricity, said al-Menfi, adding, “We are very interested in strengthening the economic partnership and, as the Prime Minister said during his recent visit to Libya, we must—and must —accelerate this strengthening of economic cooperation and set up joint delegations and missions between us.”

The Libyan President also emphasised  the need to “promote cultural, intercultural, cooperation between us.” He thanked Greece for the reopening, the opening of the Embassy in Tripoli and the reopening of the Consulate General in Benghazi.

Greece has extended a helping hand to Libya and this has been clear so far and my visit today is a reflection, an expression of our desire to have cooperation with Greece in all areas and in all fields. For example, one of the sectors is the health sector, where Greece is distinguished for the know-how and experience it has acquired, as well as in other areas that we can discuss.

WITHDRAWAL OF ALL MILITIAS FROM LIBYA

Al-Menfi also said to Mitsotakis: “My visit, then, is also an invitation to Greek companies to operate in Libya, given the stability that my country is currently experiencing.”

The Libyan President assured the Greek side that the Presidential Council was determined to maintain sovereignty of Libya and that was linked “to the absolute and complete withdrawal of all militias”. He said “on this matter we have discussed with various parties on the fulfilment of this goal, for the militias to leave Libya.”

He emphasized the importance of international support from the United Nations and the European Union, and hoped that Greece would continue supporting Libya at all international fora, “in order to be able to hold elections at the end of the year, in order to remove all mercenaries currently in my country.”

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)

Source: Pentapostagma