Libya’s Rival General, Greek Premier Back Each Other Over Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, right, meets with Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter, second left, in Athens, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who leads a rival force in his country that’s battling a United Nations-recognized government, sided with each other in a meeting where both want to thwart Turkish ambitions.

Their sit-down came just ahead of a European Union meeting in Berlin to talk about how to deal with Libya where the fighting in the oil-rich country has the international community worried it could come apart.

Mitsotakis, upset that Greece was excluded from the meeting despite Turkey and Libya signing a deal dividing the seas between them, with Turkey claiming waters off Greek islands and planning to drill for energy off Crete, said he would veto any agreement in Berlin that doesn’t reject that seas pact.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, speaking after meeting with Hifter, said the Greek government encouraged him to “participate (in the Berlin meeting) constructively” and to work toward achieving a cease-fire and restoring security in Libya “by removing mercenaries and by the recognition of the invalidity of the illegal agreements” between Turkey and the government in Tripoli.

“l must tell you with great pleasure that the commander agreed to all of those remarks,” Dendias said, adding that Greece was willing to help police a European ban on arms shipments to Libya. Hifter did not talk to reporters.

Mitsotakis said Greece “will never accept a political solution for Libya that does not require the cancellation” of the maritime deal with Turkey. “We will use our veto before the case gets to the summit meeting. We will veto it at a foreign ministers’ level,” he said.

It wasn’t clear how that would work though as a Greek official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press the veto would be applied to “any decision concerning Libya on a European level if it doesn’t include the annulment” of the maritime deal.

Asked in Berlin why Greece wasn’t invited to Berlin, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said “Greece’s participation in the Berlin Libya conference was never up for debate,” not answering the question.

“Those international actors with immediate influence in the Libya conflict are taking part in this conference and that’s the focus of the event,” he said without explaining how that wouldn’t apply to Greece, with fears of a conflict with Turkey that could rip the region.

In Moscow, the Kremlin said the Jan. 19 Berlin talks would focus on a cease-fire and the launch of a broad political dialogue under the UN.

Russia and Turkey held talks with the warring sides in Moscow, focusing on a cease-fire agreement. Hifter and Fayez Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli, didn’t meet directly and held separate talks with Russian and Turkish diplomats and military officials, but Hifter refused to sign the cease-fire document.

Russia’s acting foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said the most important outcome of the talks was that the truce was still holding in Libya with Greece still sidelined in any discussion although Turkey is taking part.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he doubted Hifter would abide by any cease-fire. “This man is not a trustworthy man,” he told reporters in Constantinople on Jan. 17.  “Yesterday, they continued to bomb Tripoli,” where the government is, he said.

Erdogan, who will be attending the meeting in Berlin where Mitsotakis was excluded, said Turkey would monitor Hifter’s actions following the conference. “My hope is that he will stand behind the promise he made,” Erdogan said.

Besides the maritime deal with Libya that Greece said violate international laws that Turkey doesn’t recognize unless in its favor, Turkey sent to back the UN-supported government while Greece is on Hifter’s side and the United States – which signed a military cooperation deal with Greece although President Donald Trump backs Erdogan – has found itself on the fence.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Rainer Breul, asked about the deployment of Turkish troops to Libya, said that “sending international troops to Libya breaches the United Nations arms embargo.”

Amnesty International added that any deal must prioritize “protection of civilians and justice for victims of violations.” In a statement, it said a field investigation it released in October had “unearthed evidence of potential war crimes by both the UN-backed Government of National Accord and the LNA,” Hifter’s Libyan National Army.

 

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

7 Comments

  1. THE “GREEK FREAK’ MISTOTAKIS

    I do not recall Haftar and Mistotakis condemning U.S and intervention in destroying the country of libya and its people.just to cut the throat of their leader, because he threw out British and U.S bases AND ALL, foreign bases to free libya from the British and U.S interference in libya, which they do to ” Greek Freaks” now running Greece.making them proxy armies for the Anglo White Supremacist of America and British colonialist!

    I do not recall Haftar and Mistotakis not being armed .with other Sunni Muslim terrorist, jihadist who cut off the heads of 12 Coptic Orthodox Christians and hire by Saudi Arabia Turkey , UAE and the Muslim brotherhood boys of Egyp and U.S evangelical fanatics!

    WHY do you think the US ambassador to libya ..Stevens and his C.I.A hit men were killed in Bengazi because they were cooperating in gun running of arms to any number of competing Jihadist ..including Haftar to dismember libya and its leader! .

    I do not recall Haftar and Mistotaki being recognized as the legitimate leader of libya.by the U.N, .the same U.N. that does not recognize Northern Cyprus as a Turkish Republic!

    I do not recall Haftar or Mistotakis condemning Nato U.S, Greece,Turkey in invading Syria .based on the same false reason Turkey has gone into libya!

    .I do recall ..MIstotakis standing by U.S continued occupations of Iraq, assassinations of foreign envoys, inciting a war on Iran , and now evoking war on Greece by Iran in…

    1. cont…

      if U.S expands war on Iraq!

      The events in Iraq by U.S Gangsters in putting a Mob Hit on an Iranian envoy,to start war with Iran, and to demonstrate who owns the oil fields of Iraq.and the refusal to leave Iraq as demanded by the installed government of Iraq….is all you need to know ..as to who Mr Haftar is…simply another C.i.A operative again hired to wage war and enact another regime change to install another leader like Mistotakis compliant to rule of Donald Trump!’

      Mistotakis is an agent of U.S C.I.A..when he publically states ..that Greece is an Ally of America ..and supports war crimes, Assassinations, and criminal occupation of Iraq by the MOBSTERS OF AMERICA, and then intervenes in engaging with supporting one of Saudi Arabia and U.S state sponsors of terrorism .Haftar!

      What is Terrorism …Haftar today has taken over the Oil and Gas production facilities of libya ..and shut off th e ports of libya which will not only continue the suffering of libyans ,but deprive them of needed revenue to rebuild their country and meet the operational needs of its people.

      AND IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT THAN NATO U.S. TAKING OVER THE OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION OF THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA , BASED ON THE LIE THEY ARE FIGHTING TERRORIST, WHILE THEY ALLOW NATO ALLY TURKEY TO TERRORIZE PARTS OF SYRIA!

      HAFTAR ..IS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE KURDS, AL QUEDA, AL NUSTRA ALL PROMISED LANDS TO INCITE CIVIL WARS TO REMOVE NON COMPLIANT LEADERS TO AN IMPERIAL US AND NATO CRIME FAMILY!

  2. cont..

    MIstotakis and Edrogan ..are playing a losing hand here..as Haftar is also supported by Russia..who is working only with Turkey to get a cease fire..and negotiate with Turkey to reach a mutually beneficial settlement! In reality…Turkey may have bitten off more than it can chew..and is also relying on Turkish militias from Syria ..to be combat units in libya! This a mistake..and Edrogan is in position only to extract concessions from Haftar representing the interests of Turkey! And Haftar will comply with anybody who puts him in power! However the bigger picture is the chaos and crimes created by U.S and Nato in the Middle east is cumming back to haunt them…and Nato Greece..who is just a state of America ..is not respected , and explains why EU has not even invited them to Berlin ..for libyan Summit for Peace!

    The 2011 NATO intervention led by Greece, France, Italy and the United States destroyed the Libyan statehood in order to get control of the country’s energy resources. Now, Egypt, the UAE, Russia and Turkey are driving France, Italy and the US out of Libya in order to put an end to the created chaos and secure own interests.

  3. Turkey wants the gas and oil of Libya. Greece needs to arm Kurds in Germany and let Germany deal with a civil war between Kurds and Turks. The real enemies of Greece is Turkey and Germany.

  4. Mano..the real enemies of Greece is U.S led Nato …which includes Germany, Turkey, U.S, France, England and Israel..who want the gas and oil of libya! Mano ..who took the oil and gas of Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, Yemen, etc etc ! Who made Nato Greece a war criminal in killing millions of citizens of the Middle East of the oil rich countries of the Middle East ..and as admitted by Donald Trump ..all based on lies and false premises!

    Who hired terrorist rebels like Haftar called Al Nustra , Al queida and ISIS to do their dirty work of taking over the oil fields of the counties of the Middle East!

    Do you not have enough evidence after watching the mob hit in broad daylight of an Iranian envoy invited to Iraq to discuss easng tension between Saudi Arabia Sunni Muslim terrorist State…and Iran ..Shia Muslims… which U.S and Israeli degenerates have used by supporting SUNNI MUSLIM BRIGADES CALLED ISIS, AL QUEDA,, AL NUSTRA …all Sunni Muslim deciples of Saudi Arabia to do their dirty work in the Middle East! ..
    Mano…All these countries are now simply part of the International Organized Crime Family of the U.S who have gone rogue to not serve the Godfathers but themselves! Do you think Trump and Netanyahue..the puppeteers of these wars for power, oil and money…are not using Greece to serve their Geopolitical interests in waging war on Russia..which is the only Geopolitical interest of U.S!

    The Israeli East Med project by Israeli Agent Menendez……

  5. cont..
    Is simply an Israeli and U.S project that is in response to Turkey and libya illegal claims to the waters of Cyprus which makes the Cyprus , Israeli and Greece pipeline to deliver Israeli oil …to Europe ..and cut into the Russian 39% share of the European oil and gas business..which is why Donnie keeps threatening Germany and any other country of Europe ..who participates in the Oil pipeline ..called North Stream from Russia to Germany and neighboring countries of Europe ..at a much cheaper price than U.S.

    Mano.. The East Med Patnership will provide no benefit to Greece..since , it will never happen..and only gserve to be used to ignite another potential war for Greece..by suggesting that Israel provides a Shield for
    Greece..that does not exist!

    Until some months ago it was doubtful whether Israel’s long-touted EastMed gas pipeline deal with Cyprus and Greece would see the light of day. Despite being backed by the US and the EU as an alternative to Russian gas, the EastMed as it is known, is dubious on many grounds not the least its high cost compared with alternatives.

    The January 2 signing by the governments of Israel, Greece and Cyprus is directly connected to provocative moves by Turkey’s Erdogan to conspire with Libya to illegally declare almost all of the Eastern Mediterranean waters to be a Turkish and now Libyan Exclusive Economic Zone.

    As recently as December, 2019 the Israeli companies involved in their offshore Leviathan gas field

  6. Cont.

    were openly discussing further options for export of the gas following an export agreement with Egypt and Jordan. The EastMed pipeline was not mentioned in Israeli media.

    The just signed agreement between Israel, Greece and Cyprus is more fantasy than reality at this point. It calls for a hugely expensive $7 billion 1,900 km (1,180 mile) subsea pipeline, “the longest and deepest gas pipeline in the world,” that should initially bring up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Israeli and Cypriot waters to Crete and then on to the Greek mainland and ultimately to Italy. That would amount to roughly 4% of total EU gas consumption, far less than Russia’s present 39% share, let alone Gazprom’s increased share once NordStream 2 and TurkStream are fully completed in the coming months. TurkStream, where the first of two pipelines opened on January 1, 2020, will supply a total of more than 31 bcm, with half available for the EU gas market and NordStream2 will add another 55 bcm annually to the EU gas market.

    It has taken Israel 10 years to ship oil to Egypt and Jordon, from their Leviathan Gas fields representing only 20 % of their output which means they are sitting on 80% for export! The EU will not subsidize this Israeli project, and Greece and Cyprus are broke.and they tell us Private funding will support the project which probably would be done in 25 years!

    Menendez and fat boy from Greek Secret Societies serve U.S and Israeli interests!

Comments are closed.