By RFIPosted on 17-01-2020Modified on 17-01-2020 at 17:23
Before the Berlin international conference on Libya on Sunday, the diplomatic ballet intensified. Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strong man from the East, is in Greece to meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs there.
General Haftar is this Friday in Greece where he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The leader of eastern Libya did not choose Greece by chance. Already because Athens opposes the agreements concluded in November between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his rival, Fayez el-Sarraj , at the head of the government of Tripoli supported by the international community.
Agreements that allow Turkey to assert its rights over large areas in the eastern Mediterranean. Contested areas rich in hydrocarbons. Moreover, on Thursday, the Turkish president declared that his country would start "as soon as possible " to drill there.
Internationalization of the Libyan conflict
Last week, in a joint statement, Cyprus, Egypt, France and Greece deemed the agreements " null and void ". And so Greece seeks to strengthen its ties with Marshal Haftar. The problem is that Greece was not invited to the Berlin conference. The Prime Minister warned that Athens would veto the European Union for any peace agreement in Libya, if these agreements between Ankara and Tripoli are not canceled.
It is a real internationalization of this Libyan conflict which we are witnessing from now on. The two rivals, Khalifa Haftar and Fayez el-Sarraj, multiply the meetings to obtain support before the Berlin conference.
For now, the two men have both confirmed their presence. Also participating: China, the United States, France, Italy, Russia with President Vladimir Putin. African presence also with the President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the President of Congo-Brazzaville, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who heads the AU group on Libya.
“The more countries that help Libyans get out of this crisis, the better. It is not easy to convince them and that is why we must join our efforts, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference. It is for this reason that we will participate this Sunday in the conference. "
" The final text of this conference is also almost approved, " he added, saying that he fully respects the decisions of the Security Council. Without further details.
Sergei Lavrov, however, warned against over-optimism. " The main thing now is that after the conference the Libyan parties do not repeat the same mistakes as in the past, and do not begin to impose additional conditions, to accuse each other, " he continued. For the moment their relations are very tense. They don't even want to be in the same room, not to mention the possibility of dialogue. "
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