NEWS

Mitsotakis to visit Libya next week

mitsotakis-to-visit-libya-next-week

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is scheduled to visit Libya next week in the wake of the political change in the North African country. The final date of the visit is expected in due course.

The visit reflects Athens’ aim to restore its relations with Libya and to safeguard Greece’s geostrategic interests. It will follow the recent telephone conversation between Mitsotakis and Libya’s new interim prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.

It should be noted that former Libyan ambassador to Athens Mohamed al-Menfi is the new chairman of the Presidential Council of the new Government of National Unity (GNU) and is set to lead the country in elections on December 24.

Mitsotakis will be accompanied on his visit to Tripoli by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. The latter has played an active role in efforts to establish contacts amid concern over Turkey’s growing influence in the North African country, beyond the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum on the delimitation of maritime zones that Ankara had signed with the government of Fayez al-Sarraj in November 2019.

The recent report of the United Nations panel of experts to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee, which reveals flagrant violations of the arms embargo on Libya by Turkey, through the provision of equipment and training of mercenaries, does not appear to have done much to discourage Ankara, which has yet to heed the call for it to leave the country.

Turkey continues to train members of the Libyan armed forces, as well as to maintain jihadist mercenary forces from Syria.

Germany, Italy and France are already competing for reconstruction, while Greece has offered, among other things, to train the country’s coast guard.