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Diplomatic incident with Greek FM Dendias in Libya

A serious diplomatic incident took place in Libya on Thursday morning with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to have cancelled his visit to Tripoli right after his plane had landed at the local airport.

The FM, the delegation and journalists did not even got off the plane that continued to Benghazi as scheduled.

As soon as FM Dendias arrived at the airport of Tripoli at 7:30 in the morning, he was informed that he would be received there by the Foreign Minister of the Libyan government, Najla El Mangoush, who had signed the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum a month ago.

Dendias expected to be received by the President of the country’s Presidential Council, Mohamed Menfi, and refused to meet with Mangoush.

Speaking to media, diplomatic sources pointed out that “no one will tell the foreign minister who he will meet and who he won’t.”

A few minutes after the government plane landed in Tripoli, Dendias requested its immediate takeoff to Benghazi, without even disembarking.

It is noted that initially Tripoli was not in the program of Dendias’ visit to Libya.

Diplomatic sources said that on the eve of the visit, Menfi had requested that the minister also go to Tripoli for a meeting with him. The meeting was scheduled on the condition that only Menfi and Dendias would attend the meeting.

Blackmail with Flight Plan

And yet, the diplomatic incident did not end there.

When the Greek government aircraft requested permission to take off and fly to Benghazi, Tripoli informed the pilot that there was no flight plan to leave the FIR Tripoli and pass to Benghazi FIR.

The Foreign Minister and the rest of the diplomatic mission had to wait 1.5 hours inside the aircraft to take off and finally arrive in Benghazi as scheduled.

Diplomatic foul play

Diplomatic sources spoke of “foul play”, noting that the Libyan authorities thought they could blackmail the situation, with this sudden, last minute move.

It is recalled that Mangoush, who is a minister in the caretaker government of Tripoli, signed with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu the Turkish-Libyan agreement in October, which is based on the illegal Turkish-Libyan “memorandum” of 2019 that has been condemned by the international community.

Athens’ position, with which Egypt also aligns, is that the term of office of the Tripoli government has expired and it does not have the legitimacy to sign international agreements that bind the future of the country.

The Tripoli government is temporary with the aim of leading the country to elections.

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