Thursday, July 25 2024

Tripoli moves raising concern in Athens

Tripoli moves raising concern in Athens

Athens is reportedly concerned about the possibility of a further escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean by Turkey via the Tripoli-based government in Libya.

More specifically, Greece, which has yet to appoint an ambassador in Tripoli, is considering the unfavorable scenario whereby the government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibah in Tripoli will proceed with the next steps at the United Nations to adjust the outer limits of the Libyan continental shelf as defined in the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum that violates Greek territorial rights.

Such a move, possibly combined with the parallel launch of exploration by the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO), would constitute an intense escalation to the south of Crete.

Moreover, a few weeks after signing agreements for hydrocarbon exploration, Ankara and Tripoli also inked military cooperation deals. These foresee Turkey promising to train Libyan Air Force pilots. To this end, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met with Libyan Prime Minister Dbeibah on Tuesday evening.

An additional protocol signed aims to improve the existing military relations between Turkey and Libya. Turkish media reported that among the Turkish government’s plans is to provide the Libyan Armed Forces with Turkish-made Akinci drones. Dbeibah also toured the SAHA EXPO Defense & Aerospace Exhibition in Istanbul, with political analysts claiming that Turkey is preparing to sell several weapons systems to Libya.

​​​​​​Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was scheduled to visit Ankara on Wednesday to meet with Akar. Analysts believe that the goal of both sides is to re-engage and in the long run, for cooperation to return to pre-2010 levels.

Israeli sources noted on Tuesday that relations between Greece and Israel are of strategic importance and any improvement in Israeli-Turkish relations will not come at their expense.