Greek opposition criticizes gvt for absence from Berlin Libya summit

Main opposition SYRIZA party on Tuesday evening said Greece’s government is to blame for the country’s absence from the upcoming January 19 Berlin summit on the Libya crisis. 

The German Chancellery’s announcement of the countries participating in the Berlin summit on Libya, which does not include Greece, but does include two new attendees – Algeria and Congo – is another setback for our country’s foreign policy,” said SYRIZA.

The party statement also highlighted that “Greece had participated at the highest level in the previous international conference on Libya in Palermo in November 2018, with then Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.” Alluding to government statements that Turkey’s aggression in the region, including an agreement reached with Libya’s Tripoli government on maritime zones, has isolated it, SYRIZA concluded  that “it is probably not Turkey that is isolated from the international community but Greece, being absent from a crucial process which now concerns its sovereign rights.”

This, it said, was “the heavy responsibility of (PM Kyriakos) Mitsotakis’ government.”

Earlier on Tuesday, government spokesman Stelios Petsas was asked by reporters about “Greece’s absence from diplomatic initiatives for Libya,” and replied that “no one can claim that Greece is absent – on the contrary, it is at the center of developments.” He said the government wants to “be involved in any initiative seeking a political solution,” and added that Greece has requested to attend the Berlin conference on Libya.

Also criticizing the government was the Movement for Change (KINAL) party, commenting in a press release, “Greece is absent from the Berlin conference on Libya, while Turkey, Algeria and Congo are attending.”