The Libyan General Halifa Haftar arrived to the Foreign Ministry a few minutes before 10:30 on Friday morning to meet with the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
General Haftar’s surprise visit in Athens on a Thursday night transmits several messages on many directions as it takes place two days before the Berlin conference on Libya.
He had earlier left the hotel where he stays under high-security measures at Syntagma Square.
The head of the Libyan National Army, after his meeting with Nikos Dendias, will meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and the National Security Adviser Alexandros Diakopoulos.
General Haftar’s visit is perhaps the best response the Greek side could give to Germany for not inviting Greece to the Berlin conference for Libya, as Athens has shown through its diplomatic initiative that it is not only affected by the Turkey-Libya illegal agreement, but is also proven that it is a player in the wider region and indeed a key player.
From General Haftar’s visit both sides will only gain. The Libyan leader gets first-rate political recognition from an EU member state, which is neighboring and in any case, combined with Egypt, balances the Turkish pressure. Consequently, he is upgraded diplomatically as he is not just as one of the two sides called upon by the strong powers to force them to settle.
For its part, Greece has shown that it is influential, exposing the German organizers of the conference on Sunday.
This should be combined with Mitsotakis’ statement that Greece will not agree to a political solution in Libya unless the Memorandum of Understanding with Turkey is revoked.
In fact, he sent the message that Greece would veto the EU. He added that he has sent letters to the EU, spoke with Angela Merkel on the phone and would speak with her again on Friday.
It is noteworthy that General Haftar has openly expressed that he opposes Greece’s exclusion.