Greek foreign minister meets Libya's Haftar after Turkey-Libya maritime deal

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met General Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of eastern Libya, on a visit to the country following a maritime deal signed last month between the pair’s rivals, Greece’s neighbour Turkey and the internationally recognised government of Libya based in Tripoli, in the west of the country.

Ankara struck two deals with the Tripoli government last month; an agreement that sees Turkey and Libya as maritime neighbours, and a security agreement that allows Turkey to transfer arms and troops to help the Tripoli government that Haftar is fighting.

Greece says the maritime deal ignores the territorial waters around its islands of Rhodes and Crete and is meant to block a pipeline it plans to build with Cyprus, Egypt and Israel to take gas to Europe.

Dendias and Haftar agreed the Turkey-Tripoli deal was invalid at a meeting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Sunday, France 24 said. Dendias also visited Egypt and Cyprus.

"The condemnation of the Turkish actions is unanimous by all our allies and partners and this is our most powerful diplomatic weapon," France 24 quoted Dendias as saying.

Libya is split between the internationally recognised Tripoli government, and the Tobruk government, spearheaded by Haftar, the de facto ruler of eastern Libya. Haftar launched an assault to on Tripoli in April and fighting around the capital is ongoing.

Haftar is backed by Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

https://www.france24.com/en/20191222-greek-foreign-minister-makes-whirlwind-regional-tour-amid-sea-dispute