NEWS

Athens irked at being left out of Libya meet

athens-irked-at-being-left-out-of-libya-meet

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed his displeasure Thursday at the German government’s decision not to invite Greece to the second Berlin Conference on Libya on June 23.

“Greece has a direct line of communication with Libya. Despite this we are extremely disappointed that Germany, obsessively sticking to its strategy, did not invite us yet again to the Libya summit,” Dendias said in a statement on Twitter.

Speaking at the International Conference of Cultural Heritage, Dendias stressed that the priority of the summit must be the immediate departure of all foreign troops and mercenaries from Libya.

As for Greek-Turkish relations, Dendias sought to convey a more realistic basis regarding expectations, after the recent visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglou to Athens.

“We should not be misled by the fact that the atmosphere was different in the last meeting with Cavusoglu,” said Dendias. He noted that differences between the two sides were clearly expressed in public during his April visit to Ankara, and were also “repeated within the framework of the latest visit as well.” 

Greece, he said, will not discuss the expansion of its territorial waters with Turkey, just as it will not discuss it with any other country.

Turkey has threatened Greece with war if it expands its territorial waters to 12 miles, as it is entitled to under international law.

“Under the Law of the Sea and UNCLOS, the extension of territorial waters to 12 miles is our national sovereign right,” Dendias stressed.

“Turkey has a particular perception of things. First, it has not signed onto UNCLOS. This is wrong in my opinion, but this is the Turkish position. Secondly, it has issued a casus belli against Greece, which is completely unacceptable,” he added.