Varvitsiotis: What he said about Turkey’s comments against him


Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis in an interview on Tuesday with SKAI responded to comments Turkey made against him and referred to the situation with Libya.

Varvitsiotis noted that it was realised in Tripoli after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ last week, where he raised the issue of the Turkish-Libyan memorandum, that Greek interests need to be taken into account.

This is because Greece, as a member of the European Union, has the potential to influence European attitudes towards Libya, especially at a time when the country is seeking its diplomatic, political and economic reconstruction.

“The message was sent to the recipient, this is something very important,” the deputy foreign minister said.

“I do not think this is where the story ends, this is where it begins,” he said, referring to yesterday’s statement made by the Libyan Prime Minister in Ankara that his country will honour the illegal memorandum to steal Greek maritime space.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said following his meeting with Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh that Turkey and Libya remain committed to the maritime delimitation pact in the eastern Mediterranean that they signed in 2019.

This is the Dbeibeh’s second visit to Ankara since becoming interim prime minister in anticipation of December’s elections.

The Libyan prime minister is pro-Turkey and known to be a personal friend Erdoğan.

During the Greek Prime Minister’s recent visit to Libya, Dbeibeh stated that he was ready to discuss the demilitations of their maritime zones.

This is a development that Erdoğan wants to prevent.

Although the Prime Minister is pro-Turkish, the Libyan Parliament is friendly with Greece.

The Tobruk-based Libyan Parliament, as the only elected body in the country, has refused to ratify the illegal Turkish-Tripoli memorandum to steal Greek maritime space.

Libyan PM remains committed to Turkish memorandum, Parliament maintains its illegality 1
Turkey’s illegal maritime deal with Tripoli to steal Greek maritime space.

With elections coming up in December, two prominent factions are emerging: a pro-Turkish/Muslim Brotherhood faction, and an anti-Turkish/Muslim Brotherhood bloc that has the support of France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Furthermore, regarding the meeting of the Greek Foreign Minister with his Turkish counterpart tomorrow, Varvitsiotis clarified that Greece does not discuss issues related to its sovereignty.

He also emphasised that the only differences between Greece and Turkey concern the demarcation of maritime zones.

As for the Euro-Turkish relations, he stressed, Greece is the one that largely determines normalisation as Turkey must have dialogue with Greece and end its provocative actions.

When asked about his recent targeting by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Varvitsiotis replied that there are forces in Turkey that do not want improved relations with Greece.

Read what Varvitsiotis said that angered Turkey here.