Greece to open consulate in Benghazi, Libya

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A Greek consulate will be opening in the Libyan city of Benghazi, as relations between Greece and the Libyan House of Representatives have improved, after Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias' surprise visit to Libya yesterday.

"Today I had the pleasure, here in Libya, of visiting the President of the country's only elected institution, the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, who has already visited us in Greece," he said.

Dendias also emphasised that the Libyan crisis needs to be handled by the Berlin Process and the initiative by Egyptian President Al-Sisi, while also calling for the withdrawal of all foreign forces.

"This is a necessary condition for peace and stability," he added.

The Foreign Minister explained that Greece is helping in Operation "Irini" to enforce the arms embargo on Libya "and is prepared to help even more."

He then backed up French President Emmanuel Macron who said days ago that Turkey has "criminal responsibility" for its role in the war in Libya, that includes transferring, arming and funding jihadist terrorists.

"I must also make clear that we agreed that Turkey has historical responsibilities for what is happening today in Libya, as President Macron rightly stated yesterday. The import of mercenaries from Syria and the violation of the arms embargo are elements that weigh on the Turkish stance. As I just said, they create historical responsibilities," Dendias said.

Dendias also revealed there are discussions of opening up a Greek Consulate in Benghazi to encourage trade between Greece and Libya to replace Turkish productions.

"Beyond that, we talked about the future of Greek-Libyan relations. We came to an understanding as regards the possibility for a Greek Consulate to operate in Benghazi, which would facilitate trade transactions. Libya wants to replace Turkish products with other products that come from Europe and especially Greece," he revealed.

In addition, Dendias discussed with Libyan officials yesterday the delimitation of maritime zones between the two Mediterranean countries that would be founded on international law and not the expansionist desires of Turkey who signed a deal to steal Greek maritime space with the Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accords based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and whose mandate to rule expired in 2017.

"We also talked about the delimitation of maritime zones between Greece and Libya, not in the framework of illegality as is the case with the so-called Sarraj-Turkey memorandum, but in the framework of International Law and in  follow-up to the relevant talks held between Greece and Libya in 2010," Dendias said.

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"And of course I had the pleasure of conveying to the President of the Libyan House of Representatives the decision made by the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Kostas Tassoulas, to reactivate the Hellenic Parliament’s Greek-Libyan Friendship Committee," he concluded.