NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg created an uproar when in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica on Thursday he said NATO was ready to support Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, as reported by Greek City Times some hours earlier.
“NATO is ready to give its support to the government of Tripoli” as it is the “only one recognised by the UN,” he said.
According to La Repubblica, he completely ignored that the Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accord (GNA) was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal, and had only a two year mandate which expired in 2017, and is directly backed by Turkey and has the support from many jihadist organisations in Libya.
Responding to a reporter’s question regarding Stoltenberg’s comments on Libya, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Gennimata said “the Secretary General of NATO is fully committed to the common positions of the Alliance, which are known to be adopted unanimously.”
“The content of his recent interview in an Italian newspaper, as it was published, obviously does not express the positions of the Alliance,” he added.
“Greece has already made the necessary remarks through its Permanent Mission to NATO and has received assurances that the Secretary-General’s specific statements were not been properly transmitted,” the spokesman concluded.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman failed to question or answer why the NATO chief has not personally clarified the comments and say himself that they were taken out of context. For full clarity, Stoltenberg or an official NATO statement should be made to clarify the situation.
Turkish media had an influx of articles about what Stoltenberg allegedly said to the Italian daily.
If what Stoltenberg said is true according to La Repubblica, this would effectively mean that NATO is backing a jihadist government that aims to steal maritime space of NATO-member Greece.
Doubt still exists and only Stoltenberg or an official NATO statement on their position on Libya can bring clarity to the issue.