Libya’s Tripoli-based administration Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush descends an escalator during a meeting with other Arab chief diplomats in the capital of Tripoli, on Sunday. She is followed by Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Libya Abdoulaye Bathily, and representatives from Qatar and Sudan.
The failure to hold a consultative meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in the Libyan capital is seen as evidence of the diplomatic isolation of the Tripoli government, even among Arab states. Indicatively, of the 22 countries in the Arab League, 15 did not attend, and neither did its secretary-general, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The foreign ministers who boycotted the meeting argued that the mandate of the Tripoli-based government has ended. Egypt, which is among the most significant countries that were absent, questions the legitimacy of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s government after Libya’s east-based parliament appointed a rival premier last year.
The snub to the event organized by the minister of foreign affairs in the Tripoli government, Najla Mangoush, last Sunday, is, according to experienced observers, a clear manifestation of dissatisfaction from all the major Arab countries with the policy of the Government of National Unity, which is dictated by the interests of third parties, in particular Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The presence of very few delegations forced the Libyan Foreign Ministry to change even the description of the event, renaming it an exploratory meeting. In fact, the Arab countries that attended did not even send their foreign ministers.
Meanwhile on Monday the Russian Embassy in Athens, via its Twitter account, reiterated some points from a recent interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who, among other things, said that Greece’s inclusion in the group of leaders of anti-Russian actions was curious and reflects the imposed line of aggressive confrontation and not the interests of the Greeks.
Lavrov was in South Africa on Monday where Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was also scheduled to arrive on Monday night.