Greece will block any European peace deal on Libya unless an agreement between the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli and Turkey on maritime borders is scrapped, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned Thursday.
“Greece will veto even at a foreign ministers’ level meeting before it makes it to the head of states level” any agreement on Libya that doesn’t withdraw the country’s pact with Turkey, Mitsotakis said in an interview with Alpha TV Thursday.
The Prime Minister criticized the fact that Greece, a factor of stability in the region, was not invited to the Berlin Conference on Libya and described the Turkish-Libyan deal as “unacceptable and illegal”, adding that he has conveyed his intentions on blocking a potential peace deal to senior European officials.
Mitsotakis’ comments came a day before his scheduled talks with Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are battling the Tripoli government. Haftar arrived in Athens late Thursday, and met Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
European Union-member Greece objects to the maritime border deal between the Tripoli government and Turkey, which ignores Greek sea rights in an area that is thought to contain potentially rich natural gas deposits.
In the same interview, Mitsotakis also said that Greece “will do whatever it takes” to protect its sovereignty in case Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decides to start naval drills in waters Greece claims as its own under UN law, adding that he doesn’t believe the situation in the Aegean will escalate.
Mitsotakis will hold a call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss the situation in the region.