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AFP
December 7, 2019

Greece expels Libyan envoy

World

AFP
December 7, 2019

ATHENS: Greece’s foreign ministry on Friday said it was expelling the Libyan ambassador for failing to disclose the contents of a disputed maritime jurisdiction deal with Turkey that has raised hackles in the region.

"I regret to announce that the Libyan ambassador was summoned to the ministry this morning and was informed of his expulsion," Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters, adding that the envoy had been given 72 hours to leave Greece.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week met with the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, to sign agreements on security and military cooperation, as well as maritime jurisdictions.

Part of the deal sets a maritime boundary between the two countries, which Greece says fails to take into account the island of Crete.

In a speech to parliament, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the agreement was "ignorant of geography and history" and had already been condemned by the US, the EU, Egypt and Israel.

The Libya-Turkey deal "violates international maritime law... (including) the right of Greek islands to maritime boundaries," foreign ministry spokesman Alexandros Gennimatas had earlier told reporters. "There are no borders between Turkey and Libya. Illegality does not produce law," Gennimatas said.

On a visit to Rome on Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Athens of needlessly trying to intimidate Tripoli.