The participation by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Friday’s international conference in Paris, organized by the French presidency for Libya, is seen as an appreciation of Greece’s regional influence.
In contrast to the Berlin process, to which Athens was not invited, to the chagrin of senior officials, government sources say that the invitation to Paris signals the recognition of Greece as a force for regional peace and security and its role in the effort for Libya’s stabilization.
According to the same sources, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the invitation to Mitsotakis during the latter’s visit to Paris at the end of September for the signing of the Greek-French defense agreement.
The presence of Greece, and of Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades, in Paris has also clearly annoyed Ankara as neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu have traveled to the French capital to attend the conference. Instead, Turkey will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.
Greece’s position regarding developments in Libya is that the timetable for December 24 elections must be observed, and that the ceasefire agreement of October 23, 2020 must be fully implemented and all foreign troops and mercenaries in Libya must be withdrawn as soon as possible.
During his trip to Tripoli last April, Mitsotakis had made it clear to his interlocutors that the creation of illegal agreements – such as the Turkish-Libyan maritime border memorandum – would have consequences for the country’s relations with the European Union.
Meanwhile the European Council announced the extension until November 12, 2022 of EU sanctions targeting individuals or entities involved in Turkey’s illegal drilling operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. To date, sanctions have been imposed on two individuals.
According to the decision, the EU will continue to be able to impose targeted restrictive measures on persons or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorized hydrocarbon-related drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. These measures include the freezing of assets of individuals and entities listed on the stock exchange, as well as a ban on travel to the EU of people who have been included in the list of sanctions. Conversely, EU persons and entities are forbidden to have funds in the entities in the sanctions list.