Portuguese / Spanish / English

Libya decries Greek Foreign Minister's refusal to get off plane in Tripoli

Foreign Minister in Libya's transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) Najla al-Mangoush poses for a picture in the capital Tripoli, on March 17, 2021 [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images]
Foreign Minister in Libya's transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) Najla al-Mangoush poses for a picture in the capital Tripoli, on March 17, 2021 [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images]

The Tripoli-based Libyan unity government, on Thursday, decried the refusal of Greece's Foreign Minister to get off his plane following his arrival in the capital, Tripoli, and his return without any clarification, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Based on a request by the Greek side to visit Libya, Libya's Foreign Ministry gave its approval for Nikos Dendias' visit, and his Libyan counterpart, Najla Al-Mangoush, was at the airport to receive him "in line with diplomatic norms", said a Ministry statement.

Mohammad Hammouda, Ministry spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that the Ministry had summoned the Greek chargé d'affaires in Tripoli.

"The decision to withdraw Libya's charge d'affaires in Athens was taken for consultation," he said, adding pointedly: "The attitude of the Greek Foreign Minister is an insult to the Libyan people."

Commenting on the development, the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Dendias' "visit to Tripoli was cancelled, where he was scheduled to meet with the Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Menfi, because the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs failed to respect the agreement made that Mr. Dendias would not meet with the Libyan Foreign Minister."

Dendias was supposed to pay a one-day visit to Libya to meet with Mohamed Menfi, Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council, and Aguila Saleh, the Parliament Speaker, but his sudden departure from Tripoli's airport ended up cancelling the meetings.

In recent years, Athens has criticised a 2019 maritime boundaries agreement the Tripoli government signed with Turkiye, which was later registered by the UN. The agreement contradicts Greece's own expansive and unprecedented maritime boundary claims, under which islands would have huge exclusive economic zones, while Turkiye would be confined to the Gulf of Antalya.

OPINION: Why the Turkish-Libyan MOU has enraged Libyans and regional countries

Categories
AfricaEurope & RussiaGreeceLibyaMiddle EastNews
Show Comments
The JNF/KKL A Charity Complicit With Ethnic Cleansing book launch
Show Comments