TRIPOLI (ANA/ N. Stamouli) A meeting between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and the Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Menfi, in Tripoli was cancelled at the last minute on Thursday. A few minutes after his plane landed in Tripoli, the foreign minister requested an immediate take off for Benghazi, without disembarking from the plane.
The meeting had not been originally scheduled to take place during the minister’s trip to Libya but, according to ministry sources, Menfi had requested that Dendias make a stop in Tripoli to meet with him on the day before the visit. Dendias agreed on the condition that only Menfi and no other person would be present.
When the aircraft landed in Tripoli, however, the foreign minister of the Tripoli government Najla Mangoush was waiting to meet it, at which point Dendias decided to depart without meeting Menfi.
Foreign ministry sources spoke of “foul play” and noted that Libyan authorities considered that they could “force” the situation with this surprise move.
It should be noted that Mangoush, who is a minister with the Tripoli caretaker government, had signed the Turkish-Libyan agreement with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in October, which acted as the basis for the illegal Turkish-Libyan “memorandum” of 2019, which has been condemned by the international community.
Athens’ position, with which Egypt is also aligned, is that the term of the current Tripoli government has expired and it cannot legitimately sign international agreements that are binding for the country’s future. The Tripoli government was a caretaker government set up to hold general elections.