Dendias: Greece will only hold talks with the elected government of Libya

Nikos Dendias Libya

Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said that Greece does want to hold talks with Libya, "but with the government emerging after elections, which will represent the true will of the Libyan people."

The minister added, as he wrapped up his visit to Benghazi on Thursday, that Greece will initiate talks with the government he mentioned, and he expressed the belief that talks would reach results "relatively quickly, as the whole issue is rather clear."

Libya's caretaker government "has an obligation to fully cooperate, so that it can lead the country to elections fast."

Commenting on his visit to Libya overall, Dendias said that it began from Tripoli, where he was scheduled to meet with the Head of the Presidential Council of Libya Mohamed Al-Menfi.

"But the caretaker government's foreign affairs minister, by her presence at the airport, tried to force a meeting with me, which resulted in my interrupting my trip to Tripoli and flying to Benghazi, where the schedule was followed," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry had issued a statement clarifying that Dendias' visit to Tripoli and meeting with Al-Menfi, "was cancelled because the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs failed to respect the agreement made that Mr. Dendias would not meet with the Libyan Foreign Minister."

It had added that the part of Dendias' visit to Eastern Libya would proceed as planned.

In his wrap-up statements, Dendias also mentioned the donation by Greece of another 30,000 coronavirus vaccines, following up on the 200,000 Greece sent to Libya in August 2021.

The Greek minister then mentioned meeting with the Head of the Libya National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, at Benghazi, who, Dendias said, "reiterated his known stance on the so-called Turkish-Libyan memorandum."

This was followed by Dendias' meeting with the Heads of Committees of the Libyan House of Representatives, to whom Dendias "conveyed (his) gratitude for their clear stance on condemning the Turkish-Libyan 'memorandum' in 2019 and the one signed in October 2022," while experts from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided details regarding International Law and the International Law of the Sea.

Also in Benghazi, Dendias attended an event to present Greece's contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme project on the reconstruction of the city's port, a critical entry point for delivering food and humanitarian assistance and food aid to the wider region of North Africa and the Sahel.

Dendias then flew to Tobruk, where he will meet with the President of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh, "so as to form a cohesive common understanding on the issues of the Turkish presence in Libya and the Turkish-Libyan memoranda."

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