Greece to Open Consulate in Benghazi

Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, following his meeting with the President of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh (Libya, 1 July 2020)

Today I had the pleasure, here in Libya, of visiting the President of the country's only elected institution, the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, who has already visited us in Greece.

We both agreed on how the Libya crisis can be handled, that is via the Berlin Process and also the very interesting initiative from Egyptian President Al-Sisi. Aguila Saleh and I agreed that Libya's future requires the withdrawal of all foreign forces. This is a necessary condition for peace and stability.

Greece is helping in this direction through its participation in operation 'Irini', at sea, and is prepared to help even more.

I must also make clear that we agreed that Turkey has historical responsibilities for what is happening today in Libya, as President Macron rightly stated yesterday. The import of mercenaries from Syria and the violation of the arms embargo are elements that weigh on the Turkish stance. As I just said, they create historical responsibilities.

Beyond that, we talked about the future of Greek-Libyan relations. We came to an understanding as regards the possibility for a Greek Consulate to operate in Benghazi, which would facilitate trade transactions. Libya wants to replace Turkish products with other products that come from Europe and especially Greece.

We also talked about the delimitation of maritime zones between Greece and Libya, not in the framework of illegality as is the case with the so-called Sarraj-Turkey memorandum, but in the framework of International Law and in  follow-up to the relevant talks held between Greece and Libya in 2010. And of course I had the pleasure of conveying to the President of the Libyan House of Representatives the decision made by  the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Kostas Tassoulas, to reactivate the Hellenic Parliament's Greek-Libyan Friendship Committee.

(Source: Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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