Unless the maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya is scrapped, Greece will block any European Union peace deal for Libya, the Greek prime minister has warned.
Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Greek television on Thursday that: “Greece at the level of a summit meeting will never accept any political solution on Libya that does not include as a precondition the annulment of this agreement. To put it simply, we will use our veto.”
He said the agreement that Turkey brokered with the UN-backed government in Tripoli which established maritime and economic zones ignored Greek claims in the eastern Mediterranean was “unacceptable and illegal.”
Over the past month Mr Mitsotakis had called for Greece to be part of any conference that discussed a peace deal between the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli led by Fayez Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar who leads the Libyan National Army based in eastern Libya.
However, Greece was not invited to take part of the Libya Conference in Berlin planned for Sunday. Along with the two Libyan belligerents, envoys from the United States, Russia, China, the UK, France, Italy, the European Union and the UN will be attending.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also invited the African Union, the Arab League, as well the Republic of Congo, Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey to attend the conference. The conference coincides with the visit to Berlin by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On Thursday, General Haftar paid a surprise visit to Athens shortly after his meeting with the German foreign minister Heiko Maas who had come to see him in Benghazi, Libya. After that meeting Mr Maas announced that the general had agreed to attend the conference in Berlin.
“With the Berlin process, we have the best chance for a long time to start peace talks for Libya,” said Mr Maas.
Earlier in the week in Moscow, General Haftar refused to sign a ceasefire agreement with Mr Sarraj.