Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (left) and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, hold a joint press conference, at the foreign ministry headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Oct 9, 2022. (NARIMAN EL-MOFTY / AP)
CAIRO – Foreign ministers of Egypt and Greece held talks in Cairo on Sunday, following recent oil and gas exploration deals signed between Türkiye and the Libyan Government of National Unity.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias described the deal as a "threat to regional stability," stressing that achieving stability in Libya and in the eastern Mediterranean region is one of the "strategic goals" for both Greece and Egypt.
He urged for holding the Libyan elections as soon as possible to maintain Libya's stability and territorial integrity, adding "Greece supports the efforts to pave the way for holding the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya."
Dbeibah's administration signed with Türkiye earlier this month a memorandum of understanding that allows Türkiye to explore oil and gas fields in some areas of the eastern Mediterranean, over which Greece claims to have sovereignty
"The outgoing unity government in Tripoli doesn't have the authority to conclude any international agreements or memoranda of understanding," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said, adding the Libyan Government of National Unity came through a UN-approved roadmap by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum with a specific mission and term to hold the Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec 24, 2021, which it failed to do.
READ MORE: Tripoli calm, Libya riven after worst fighting in years
Libya has been divided into two rival administrations since March, when the eastern-based House of Representatives, or the parliament, appointed Fathi Bashagha as prime minister while Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah refused to step down, saying he would only hand over office to an elected government.
Dbeibah's administration signed with Türkiye earlier this month a memorandum of understanding that allows Türkiye to explore oil and gas fields in some areas of the eastern Mediterranean, over which Greece claims to have sovereignty.
Libya has been suffering political instability and chaos ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.
ALSO READ: Libyan prime minister urges holding elections to end crisis