Greece threatens to expel Libya envoy over Turkey deal

Dendias gestures during a press conference with North Macedonia's Foreign Minister as he arrives in Skopje for a one-day visit of the country, on November 26, 2019. (AFP)

Greece’s foreign minister on Monday threatened to expel the Libyan ambassador to Athens unless she provided details of a military deal that Tripoli signed with Ankara last week.

“Unless (ambassador Maiza Gzllal) brings us the agreement, on Friday (she) will be declared persona non grata and will leave,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told Skai TV, adding that the deal was being “concealed” from Greece.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over the weekend also said Athens would seek support from NATO over the military deal signed by Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognized government.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week met with the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, to sign agreements on security and military cooperation, as well as maritime jurisdictions.

The agreements have also raised hackles in Egypt and Cyprus.

“An alliance cannot remain indifferent when one of its members openly violates international law and aims (to harm) another member,” Mitsotakis said in a speech to his New Democracy party on Sunday.

Greece last week expressed its dissatisfaction with the accord and summoned Gzllal as well as the Turkish ambassador to ask for information on its content.

Dendias on Sunday met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Choukry in Cairo to discuss the matter.

The deal comes despite calls from the Arab League - which includes Libya - to end cooperation with Turkey in protest over its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria last month.

Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Located in the southeastern Mediterranean, Greece - a NATO member like Turkey - maintains a delicate relationship with its neighbor, which has become a gateway to Europe with thousands of asylum-seekers flocking to the Greek islands.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56
Top