Greek FM in Lebanon: ‘Cessation of hostilities, foreign interference in Libya of cardinal importance’

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with his Lebanese counterpart Nassif Hitti, President of Lebanon Michel Aounthe and the president of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri, in Beirut on Wednesday, and after these meetings he said that “Lebanese-Greek relations are based upon solid foundations of friendship and mutual respect.”

On the trilateral cooperation of the two countries with Cyprus, Dendias said this has “has produced positive results up to now.”

Concerning the eastern Mediterranean region, which Dendias called “our common neighbourhood,” he said that both he and Hitti “expressed support for political solutions under the guidance of the UN, both in Libya and Syria.”

After praising Lebanon’s “impressive efforts in hosting and addressing the needs of the refugees,” Dendias mentioned the situation in Libya, “which is of great concern to all countries,” and that “we believe that the cessation of hostilities and of foreign interference is of cardinal importance.”

Dendias said he had the opportunity to discuss with his colleague this Monday’s decision at the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on a new operation aimed at ensuring the implementation of the arms embargo in Libya, then reiterated Greece’s stance on a peaceful resolution there.

Speaking of Turkey and the Tripoli government agreement, he said that “Ankara and Mr. Sarraj fuel the civil war and constitute an attempt to acquire a foothold in Libya by foreign powers. Furthermore, they internationalize the conflict by violating the sovereign rights of Greece and thus they threaten peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean.

After his recent meetings with several of Greece’s Arab League partners, Dendias said he is under the impression that “Turkey’s efforts to expand its influence in the areas of the former Ottoman empire have raised concern and staunch opposition.”

The Greek Foreign Affairs minister was received by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab late Wednesday.