Mitsotakis-Erdogan meeting reportedly dominated by sketchy deal by latter with interim Libyan govt; migrant surge

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 21:21
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A closely scrutinized meeting in London between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lasted for an hour and a half on Wednesday, after the conclusion of a tumultuous NATO summit and in the wake of a recent and egregious provocation by Ankara.

The meeting came days after Erdogan himself signed what was billed as a memorandum of understanding with the head of a shaky interim government in Libya and controls less than a quarter of the North African country.  

According to media reports, the meeting focused directly on the Turkey-Libya MoU and the resurgent migrant crisis in the eastern Aegean. Mitsotakis, according to the same report, told Erdogan and accompanying Turkish officials that no action is taken by the Turkish coast guard when its Greek counterpart duly warns of departures of vessels carrying undocumented migrants from the western Turkish coast to a handful of Greek isles.

 In later comments, Mitsotakis merely referred to an "open discussion", where all the issues were tabled and where disagreements were recorded. He added that talks over confidence-building measures will continue.

Mitsotakis told Greek reporters that FM Nikos Dendias will convene a foreign policy council to brief political parties over the London talks.

"I want to assure the Greek people that difficulties exist and will exist, however, if there is good will by both sides these will be overcome," Mitsotakis said.

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