Libya military commander flies to Greece ahead of Berlin summit

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Al Jazeera reports that Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar has secretly flown to Athens on Thursday ahead of the United Nations-backed peace conference in Berlin this weekend.

The Berlin peace conference is the latest international effort to end nine months of fighting between Haftar’s forces based in the east of Libya and the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend the Berlin summit, along with officials from Russia, Turkey, France, China, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom – as well as several African and Arab countries.

Greece was reportedly snubbed, with the German government rejecting Athens’s claim that it was directly involved in the Libyan conflict. Greece has since signalled it wanted to participate.

Al Jazeera reports that Haftar flew to Athens by private plane on Thursday for meetings not previously announced by the Greek government. He was met by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias for an initial round of talks, television footage showed.

Mitsotakis said on Thursday that it was “wrong” to exclude Greece from the Berlin talks and that he wishes to talk with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about it on Friday.

He added that Athens would veto at the European Union any Libya peace deal unless the Turkish memorandum that he described as “unacceptable and illegal” was scrapped.

“I’ve told European counterparts [that] Greece will never accept any political solution at [EU] summit level [that fails to] nullify this memorandum,” Mitsotakis told Alpha TV.

“We will veto this even before it reaches a summit council,” he said.

Sourced by: Al Jazeera

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