Siding with warlord Haftar diplomatic fiasco, Greek party leader says
Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who is also the leader of the Greek MeRa25 party, criticized his country on Friday for its involvement in the Libyan crisis. He argued that Greece is on the wrong side, which is a diplomatic fiasco.
Varoufakis referred to Greece's support of the east Libya based warlord Khalifa Haftar as the biggest diplomatic fiasco of recent years.
The former economy minister stressed that the country, before siding with Haftar, should "remember the ultra-nationalists who embraced Serbian war criminal Karadzic, nicknamed the Bosnian Butcher, during the 1990s (during the Bosnian War), damaging both the image of the country and our geographically strategic position."
Varoufakis further noted that the agreement between Greece, Israel and the petroleum cooperation is nothing but came as a step strengthening President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's hand by contributing to his power in the region. He further argued that the agreement provides Erdoğan a chance to consolidate the Turkish public.
Putschist Gen. Haftar, commander of Libya's eastern-based forces, on Friday, visited Greece to seek support just two days before the Berlin conference on the Libya conflict, which he and the head of Tripoli's U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj are expected to attend.
The Berlin conference is set to be a step up by the world powers to provide the lasting of the cease-fire, nine months after an assault on Tripoli by Haftar's forces sparked fighting that has killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters and displaced tens of thousands.
On Jan. 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by President Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But talks for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement on Monday after Haftar left Moscow demanding two days to consult with local Libyan tribes for their approval, while Sarraj signed the cease-fire deal.
Greece seeks to build ties with Haftar after the legitimate government in Libya signed a maritime delimitation and military cooperation deal with Turkey in November.
On Jan. 2, Greece, Israel and the Greek Cyprus administration signed a deal to build an undersea pipeline to carry gas from new offshore deposits in the southeastern Mediterranean to continental Europe.
Turkey strongly opposes the project, which would see part of the 1,900-kilometer (1,300-mile) EastMed pipeline pass through waters it claims under its deal with the Tripoli government.