Greek Prime Minister Kiryakos Miçotakis was in Tripoli yesterday. He met with the Prime Minister of the Libyan National Unity Government, Abdulhamid Dibeybe. He said that the problems that damaged the relations between the two countries will be a thing of the past and that they are ready to cooperate with Libya in many fields from tourism to energy. With the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the Restriction of Libya signed in November 2019 between Turkey Marine Jurisdiction “was depicted as an international agreement, a document with no legal validity” as described and emphasized that it was important for the cancellation of Athens.
Greece reacted strongly to this agreement in 2019, demanding the details of the agreement from the Libyan Ambassador Mohammed al-Menfi, who was at the time in Athens. In response to the deal, al-Menfi was expelled by Athens. After this point, the tension between Tripoli and Athens increased. The Libyan administration of the period stated that “Greece has no representation in our country. If it were, we would have responded in the same way, ”he reacted.
On the line, which was tense with the Libyan administration of the period, Athens supported the Caliph Haftar and even hosted Haftar in Athens with a surprise visit in January 2020. After this visit, Haftar sent a support message to Greece at every opportunity regarding the Eastern Mediterranean tension.
However, the new formation in Libya created a perception of “window of opportunity” in Athens. Prime Minister Miçotakis called Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dibeybe, the Prime Minister of the Government of Libya National Unity, immediately after taking office, and congratulated him on his new post. Dibeybe’s invitation in this phone call carried Miçotakis to Tripoli yesterday.
The name that attracted attention in Miçotakis Tripoli contacts was Muhammed el-Menfi. The former Ambassador, who was expelled from Athens, was opposite the Greek Prime Minister, this time as Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council. Miçotakis conveyed Greece’s support for the “new Libya” and the new government. He said that anything that harms the relations between the two countries will soon be a thing of the past. He emphasized that the Greek Embassy in Tripoli, which was opened on the occasion of the visit, and reminded that a Consulate General will be opened in Benghazi very soon.
Miçotakis put forward a search for a new balance for the Eastern Mediterranean in the country he described as “New Libya”.
Speaking after the visit, Greek Government Spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni claimed that Libya is ready for negotiations to establish technical delegations to determine maritime jurisdictions. The Greek Spokesperson argued that a new page has been opened in the relations between the two countries and that this new page cannot be written on old pages written against the interests of Greece.