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Greece’s top diplomat cancels his trip to Tripoli after landing

Greece’s top diplomat cancels his trip to Tripoli after landing

Greece’s top diplomat cancels his trip to Tripoli after landing

Greece’s top diplomat cancels his trip to Tripoli after landing

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  • Nikos Dendias refused to get off the plane when it landed in Tripoli.
  • Instead, he took a plane to the country’s eastern city of Benghazi.
  • The episode was essentially a snub of the western, Tripoli-based administration of Libya.
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Nikos Dendias, the Greek FM, refused to get off the plane and meet with his waiting counterpart in Tripoli.

Greek officials reported that the foreign minister of Greece cancelled the first leg of a trip to Libya because he would not get off his jet when it landed in Tripoli. Instead, he took a plane to the country’s eastern city of Benghazi.

The episode on Thursday, which was essentially a snub of the western, Tripoli-based administration of Libya, was the result of a breach of protocol and the visit’s predetermined parameters, according to the Greek foreign ministry.

Following a contentious preliminary marine and gas agreement between Turkey and the Tripoli government, tensions in the Mediterranean have been growing.

Since the toppling of longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country of Libya has been ruled by two opposing administrations, one in the east and one in the west.

Nikos Dendias, the foreign minister of Greece, was scheduled to meet with Mohammad Younes Menfi, the head of Libya’s western administration, in Tripoli, during a two-part trip. The administration with headquarters in the east was to meet with them in Benghazi after that.

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Dendias did not wish to meet with Najla Mangoush, his colleague in Tripoli, according to a curt statement from the Greek ministry, despite the fact that she arrived at the airport to welcome him.

“Ms Mangoush tried to impose on me by her presence at the airport to meet with her. As a result I interrupted the visit in Tripoli and we flew to Benghazi, where the schedule was followed,” the Greek minister said in the eastern city of Benghazi.

There, he delivered a donation of 550,000 euros ($568,000) towards the World Food Programme’s Benghazi port renovation along with three tiny boxes of coronavirus vaccines.

Mangoush’s appearance at the airport, according to government spokesman Mohamed Hamuda, was in accordance with diplomatic protocol.

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Both Greece and Egypt have rejected the Tripoli-Ankara preliminary maritime and gas agreement that was reached last month, accusing Turkey of using the accord to try to increase its influence in the Mediterranean.

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The agreement covers cooperative hydrocarbon resource exploration in Libyan territorial waters.

Dendias said that the agreement violates the maritime borders of Greece during a trip to Cairo last month.

His Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, asserted that the western government of Libya, headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, lacked the power to strike such agreements because its term had come to an end after the country’s failure to hold national elections in December of the previous year.

A competing prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, was subsequently nominated by Libya’s east-based parliament.

In the meantime, relations between Cairo and Athens have gotten stronger recently, including the ratification of fresh maritime border accords with Cyprus.

The underwater gas and oil exploration rights conflict is a major factor in the deterioration of ties between Athens and Ankara. Turkey continues to be Dbeibah’s biggest supporter.

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2019 saw the signing of yet another contentious maritime border agreement between Turkey and Tripoli, giving the latter access to a contentious economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Numerous Greek islands, including Crete, which is located between Turkey and Libya, were disregarded in the agreement. Tensions between Turkey and Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus over oil and gas drilling rights were rekindled as a result.

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