UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The foreign ministers of France, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt announced at the conclusion of a meeting held Wednesday in Cairo their support for the Berlin International Conference to be held this month in an attempt to reach a settlement to the Libyan crisis.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi de Mayo participated in this meeting without signing the joint statement or attending the press conference.
Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, said in a joint press conference with the three European ministers, “We are unanimous in supporting the Berlin process,” considering that this conference “may be the last chance” to reach a consensus between the Libyan parties on a political settlement to the crisis in their country.
For his part, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that “there will be no military solution to this (Libyan) crisis,” adding that “the solution can only be political.”
The Egyptian Foreign Minister stressed that the recent agreement between Turkey and the head of the National Accord Government, Fayez al-Sarraj, “is contrary to the decisions of the UN Security Council and the Skhirat Agreement” to settle the Libyan crisis.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Sunday evening the start of the deployment of Turkish soldiers in Libya based on two agreements signed by Ankara with the Government of National Accord in Libya in late November, one of which is a military stipulation that Turkey provides military assistance to the Saraj government, and the second deals with the demarcation of the maritime border between Libya and Turkey.
Ludrian said that Turkey can be “an important player in the eastern Mediterranean, but it can not become so unless it respects the law of the seas and agrees to engage in dialogue with the countries bordering (on the Mediterranean).”
The border demarcation agreement between Turkey and the Al-Sarraj government touches another maritime agreement signed between Greece, Egypt, Israel and Cyprus, which raised the concerns of these countries.
Turkish support for the Saraj government falls in the context of Ankara’s efforts to confirm its presence in the eastern Mediterranean, where a race to explore and exploit energy resources is taking place amid record huge discoveries in recent years.
The agreement to demarcate the maritime borders has angered Greece in particular, which called on the United Nations to condemn the agreement that would grant Ankara sovereignty over areas rich in energy resources, especially off the island of Crete.
The forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which controls eastern Libya, launched an attack since last April in an attempt to control the capital, Tripoli, the seat of the Al-Sarraj government.
Haftar’s forces are supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Turkey maintains that Russian mercenaries are fighting alongside Haftar’s forces, which Moscow denies.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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