Turkey’s Foreign Chief Says Greece Has No Role in Libya

File- German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speak as they look towards the city center after a welcome ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA – After Greece was left out of a European Union meeting in Berlin to try to bring a ceasefire in Libya, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Davutoglu said it was because Greece was not involved although Turkey and Libya signed a deal dividing the seas between them.

Turkey claimed waters off major Greek islands such as Rhodes and plans to drill for oil and gas off Crete after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Greece has no Continental Shelf and that his country doesn’t recognize Greek islands or seas.

Turkey, which has been trying to join the EU for 15 years, had a prominent seat at the table, leading an unhappy Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis to threaten any EU deal over Libya.

“Greece is not a player in Libya,” Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster NTV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying Greece wanted to take part just to try to nix the Turkey-Libya maritime deal no other country recognizes.

“But this issue was not on the agenda. Greece is looking at this issue from a very narrow viewpoint,” he added although Turkey said it would send troops to Libya to back a United Nations-accepted government while Greece backs rivals.

Cavusoglu criticized the Greek government for hosting Eastern Libyan military Commander Khalifa Haftar in Athens a day before the Berlin conference, noting this move shows the country does not have a “mature” attitude.

“The fact that Greece supports an illegitimate actor in favor of a legitimate government shows that it is on the wrong side,” he said, adding that Greece must “adopt a policy of sharing resources,” without explaining why Turkey has any role in Greek waters.