Greece opens consulate in Libya’s second city Benghazi

Greek Foreign Minister issues message of support for Libyan interim government

Libya's deputy Premier Hussein Attiya al-Gotrani(R) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias hold a press conference in the eastern city of Benghazi, on April 12, 2021.  / AFP / Abdullah DOMA
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Greece opened a consulate on Tuesday in Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi, as European countries sought to renew their diplomatic footprint inside the north African country.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias announced the move during a visit to Benghazi, after Athens revealed the reopening of its embassy in Tripoli last week during a trip to the Libyan capital by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The diplomatic visits came after Libya's interim government was inaugurated last month.

"My visit to Benghazi today is a continuation of this visit and signals our full support for the Libyan caretaker government and the electoral process that will take place in December," Mr Dendias said.

He was speaking alongside Hussein Qatrani, one of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Libya’s Government of National Unity.

France, Italy and Malta recently announced they will reopen embassies in Tripoli.

Libya's interim government is supposed to pave the way for elections to be held in December.

It came into being after a ceasefire was agreed to last year between the country's largest armed factions. The conflict in the country drew in a plethora of foreign powers and mercenaries.

“Greece has always argued that the solution to the problem in Libya must come from the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops and foreign mercenaries from Libyan territory,” Mr Dendias said.

“This must be done immediately and the Libyan people must be responsible for the fate of their country.”

He repeated his condemnation of a maritime zone agreement between Libya's previous government and Turkey. Greece says the deal is illegal and infringes on its territory.

But Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday underlined his support for the deal after meeting Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.