Greece suffered a diplomatic setback as it emerged late on Tuesday that it had been excluded from the summit on the crisis in Libya, to be held on January 19 in Berlin.
The German hosts rejected Athens’ claim that is directly affected by events in Libya following the agreements signed between the UN-backed government in Tripoli with Turkey on security cooperation and maritime borders which impact Greek sovereignty.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas stated on Tuesday that Athens is “making every effort to take part in any initiative that has to do with solving the problem in Libya, always on the basis of a political solution. One of these processes is the Berlin Summit. We have asked to participate.”
The German government announced that Libyan General Khalifa Haftar and the leader of the UN-backed government, Fayez al-Sarraj, will attend the conference.
They are to be joined by envoys from the US, Russia, China, the UK, France, Italy, the EU and the UN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also extended an invitation to the African Union, the Arab League, as well as the Republic of Congo, Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
Main opposition SYRIZA party on Tuesday evening said Greece’s government is to blame for the country’s absence from the upcoming January 19 Berlin summit on the Libya crisis.
“The German Chancellery’s announcement of the countries participating in the Berlin summit on Libya, which does not include Greece, but does include two new attendees – Algeria and Congo – is another setback for our country’s foreign policy,” the SYRIZA statement declared.
Later on Wednesday, the deputy spokesperson of the German government Ulrike Demer commented on Greece’s absence from the summit.
”We cannot give information here on the exact weightings of decisions in this matter (…) It is always difficult to form a circle of participants and beyond that, I cannot comment on how we came up with it. We do not want to discuss this publicly,” the German official said.