Diplomatic feud between Athens and Berlin over Libya: Why the Germans "blocked" Greece

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The illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum may be one of the main issues of friction between Greece and Turkey, but Greece was not invited to the Berlin conference on Libya.

Despite the fact that Greece is a member state of the EU , the Germans chose to invite Turkey and not Greece.

This move provoked the immediate reaction of the Greek side.

In fact, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, expressed the dissatisfaction of Athens.

"We are extremely dissatisfied with the fact that Germany, insisting on a tactic, did not invite us to the meeting on Libya this time as well," he said.

It is worth noting that the previous conference on the issue was attended by Russia, the U.S., China, Turkey, France, Great Britain, the UAE, the Congo, Italy, Egypt, and the United Nations, delegations from the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League.

Then Greece shone again through its absence.

"As historically happens in the context of this conference, since Greece did not participate in the previous conference, it would be very difficult to participate now," explained the director of the Institute of International Relations, Constantinos Filis.

"It is obvious that since Greece does not have a strong economic and military footprint in Libya, some countries are developing the argument that Greece should not participate in the conference," said Filis, stressing that Germany's stance was negative.

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Berlin Conference on Libya in 2020.

"This shows the intentions of Germany, which with communication tactics insists on this position of exclusion of our country," the professor pointed out.

The view that Germany has vested interests in the region which would be mixed by the Greek presence in the conference and in the region in general is expressed by the geostrategic analyst Efthymios Petrou.

"The illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum creates a situation in the Eastern Mediterranean," he said, adding: "As Greece attempts to overturn this agreement, the Germans may see this as overturning a solution to the Libyan problem."

"Let us not forget that the Germans have two centuries of relations with the Turks", he explained in more detail and added that Germany preferred the German-Turkish relations to the Greek-Turkish ones.

The Germans and the Turks are pressing for the fact that Greece was late to take an interest and they want the issue of the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum not to be internationalized, added Petrou.

At the same time, Filis makes it clear that even if the Germans consider that the presence of Greece can create problems due to the illegal Turkish-Libyan agreement, "they forget that Greece, an EU member state, has opposite and adjacent coasts with Libya."

"Turkey has no adjacent coasts and does not belong to the European Union," he continued.

"But if Greece was finally at the conference, it might not have talked about the illegal Turkish-Libyan pact, as our country has shown, it would focus on a positive agenda for a solution in Libya," the expert explained.

The view that Germany wants to continue the beaten track from the previous conference in order not to displease Turkey, was expressed by Anthony Klapsis, Assistant Professor of Diplomacy and International Organization at the University of Peloponnese.

"The Germans want to keep the balance in German-Turkish relations for obvious economic reasons," he added.

It is recalled that Turkey-Germany trade relations remain strong.

According to official data, Germany is the most important trade partner of Turkey and the biggest foreign investor.

At the same time, more than 7400 German and Turkish companies operating in Turkey use German investment capital.

READ MORE: FM Dendias: We are extremely dissatisfied with Germany over Libya.