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Greece: It is Urgent to Fully Implement Arms Embargo in Libya

Greece: It is Urgent to Fully Implement Arms Embargo in Libya

Tuesday, 28 January, 2020 - 10:30
World leaders pose for a family photo within the Berlin Conference on Libyan peace in Berlin, Germany (File photo: Reuters)
Athens - Abdulsattar Barakat

The situation in Libya requires full implementation of an arms embargo, and the results of the Berlin Conference are the first step towards resolution of the Libyan crisis which reconfirmed the will of all sides to achieve a political solution, according to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Dendias said that Greece looks positively on a possible reactivation and expansion of ‘operation Sophia’ to monitor compliance with the arms embargo in Libya, as well as the potential deployment of a UN peacekeeping force.

“Greece is prepared to contribute to both initiatives.”

The Minister indicated that the memorandum signed by Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli cannot have a place in the political solution of the crisis, because they were concluded in an illegal manner and their content counters international law and the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell indicated that the EU rejects the agreement signed between the GNA and Turkey, expressing the Union's concern over the security situation in Tripoli.

Diplomatic sources also confirmed that Cyprus does not want new EU sanctions against officials in Crimea, in exchange for European support for tougher measures against Turkey.

The sanctions that the European Union is preparing against Ankara include the prevention of entry and freeze of assets. However, it is postponing the decision with the aim of identifying Turkish officials to sanction and giving Ankara time to change course.

EU has agreed to add more Crimean officials to its blacklists, however, the imposition of sanctions requires the approval of all 28 member states.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the EU would not agree to a political solution to the conflict in Libya unless Turkey and GNA drop the demarcation of maritime borders agreement.

PM Mitsotakis will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on January 29th, in an attempt to enhance the international coalition against the Turkish provocations in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Greek newspaper Ekathimerini that France would not agree to any matter that violates the rights of Greece or Cyprus, as Turkey drills for oil in the island’s sovereign waters.

Cyprus was frustrated by the European Union’s reluctance to take a strong stand against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has threatened to flood Europe with millions of refugees and other migrants, through the Greek islands.

EU has only imposed soft sanctions, but EU official Borrell said that tougher measures must be taken.

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