Greek FM: Libya’s Ambassador given 72-hour deadline to leave the country

“Libya’s Ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry this morning, where he was informed of the decision for his expulsion. He was given a 72-hour deadline to leave the country,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated on Friday.

The foreign minister noted that the decision reflects the Greek government’s dissatisfaction with the Tripoli government and noted that it was taken after “the Libyan side did not meet the terms that we set.”

Dendias added that the text of the agreement between Turkey and Libya bears the signature of the Libyan foreign minister, who had provided the Greek side with assurances of the opposite in September.

The expulsion does not constitute the severing of diplomatic relations, the foreign minister stressed.

Referring to the Turkey-Libya deal on the delimitation of the two countries’ maritime zones, the foreign minister said that its posting on the Turkish National Assembly’s website simply served to confirm Greece’s forecasts.

“The coordinates of the attempt to demarcate maritime zones confirm that this agreement is a gross violation of the International Law of the Sea and the sovereign rights of Greece and other states,” he said.

Dendias made it clear that, in addition to its substantive and formal defects, this attempt was unlawful and did not generate legal effects, while adding that it points to the deliberate provoking of tension on a bilateral and regional level. It is therefore unequivocally condemned, he underlined.

The foreign minister also referred to a letter from the head of the Libyan House of Representatives to the UN Secretary-General, in which he said the maritime boundaries memorandum was strange, in that Libya has no maritime borders with Turkey, and that Greece and Cyprus are in the midst of the borders that the agreement is trying to define. In the same letter, he also noted that the Libyan prime minister had no right to sign the agreement.

Moreover, Dendias confirmed that the president of the Libyan House of Representatives will be in Athens on Wednesday.