Skip to main content

Athens, visiting president of Libyan presidential council agree to commence talks on delimitating maritime zones

The Greek and Libyan foreign ministries will immediately begin deliberations to delimitate maritime zones in the east Mediterranean, according to an agreement in Athens on Wednesday announced after a meeting between Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and visiting president of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi.

Al-Menfi, a career diplomat, had previously served as Tripoli’s ambassador to Athens, and during the period when the Government of National Accord (GNA) signed the controversial Libya–Turkey maritime deal essentially drawing Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) between the former and the North African country by erasing all Greek islands and territorial waters between them.

Athens at the time called the agreement illegal, without any basis on customary law and UNCLOS. The pact, in fact, was never tabled or let alone ratified by the Libyan legislature.

During Wednesday’s high-profile meeting, the Greek side again emphasized that all foreign troops must leave Libya, so that the country’s citizens themselves can decide their future.  The reference directly includes a Turkish military intervention, with weapons, supplies and even “jihadi” mercenaries being sent to western Libya to prop up the government of then GNA chairman Fayez al-Sarraj.

Official Greece has resumed diplomatic relations with the North African country, with Mitsotakis joining other EU leaders in a visit to Tripoli earlier this month, and pledging to participate in reconstruction efforts, as well as in jump-starting economic and other ties.