Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (L) welcomes Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), in Athens, Greece, on Jan. 17, 2020. Greece is ready to help Libya going forward once a solution is found to the conflict there, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told the press here on Friday following his meeting with Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA). (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Greece is ready to help Libya going forward once a solution is found to the conflict there, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told the press here on Friday following his meeting with Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The Libyan commander arrived in Athens on Thursday evening for talks with the Greek government before departing for Berlin to participate in a conference this weekend aimed at bringing to an end the long-standing conflict in the northern African country.
"We are pacifists. We have come here to talk about peace," Haftar said on Friday before meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
Mitsotakis made no statement to the press.
According to Greek government sources, Mitsotakis stressed the need for a political solution to the Libyan crisis and welcomed Haftar's stance that the memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed recently between Turkey and the Libyan government on the establishment of maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean are invalid.
"We encouraged the commander to participate in a constructive spirit in the Berlin conference and to try, given the conditions, to achieve a ceasefire, the restoration of security in Libya with the withdrawal of mercenaries, and the recognition of the invalidity of the illegal MoUs between Turkey and the government" led by Fayez al-Sarraj, Dendias told the Greek national broadcaster ERT.
Greece is ready to help Libya going forward "either by joining the forces needed for there to be a truce, or through the participation of Greek forces in a European operation to impose an arms embargo and end the transfer of mercenaries to Libya," the Greek minister stressed.
Since Greece has not been invited to participate in the Berlin conference, Dendias reiterated Athens' call that the European position that the MoUs are invalid is underlined.
"Europe has a clear position, expressed by the last European Council. Our common European position recognizes that the memoranda signed by the Sarraj government and Turkey are invalid and void. We therefore expect, as Europeans, Germany to impose and express the European position at the Berlin conference. We expect the same from the other European Union (EU) member states participating in this process," Dendias said.