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Greek prime minister to make official visit to Libya


Greek prime minister to make official visit to Libya

Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will today meet with Libyan officials including interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah in Tripoli. Mitsotakis will also reopen Greece’s embassy in Libya during his visit, deepening ties with Tripoli’s new internationally-recognised Government of National Unity (GNU).

Today’s meeting follows an October 2020 ceasefire between the Greek-backed, self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA) and the GNU’s predecessor, the Government of National Accord (GNA). Greece’s support for the LNA intensified following a 2019 Turkish-GNA agreement extending Turkey’s maritime boundaries to encompass the Eastern Mediterranean’s oil reserves. Despite Greece’s expressions of support for the GNU, Athens maintains that the agreement is invalid under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as it disregards international laws on demarcating maritime boundaries.

Expect Mitsotakis to urge GNU officials to reconsider the Turkish-GNA deal in return for access to oil and gas-focused organisations including the East Mediterranean Gas Forum. Libyan representatives are unlikely to accept such suggestions, however, as Turkey remains a major backer of the GNU. Therefore, Mitsotakis will likely continue expressing support for the GNU and offer Libya increased stabilisation funding while attempting to decrease Turkish influence by stressing the need for foreign actors to exit Libya.

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