The international community had sent a clear message through the United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya, opening the way for member-states to intervene for the protection of Libya's citizens, Prime Minister and Socialist International President George Papandreou told a meeting of the SI presidium in Athens on Saturday.

"The message of the international community via UN Security Council resolution 1973 is clear: We will on no account tolerate the murder of innocent citizens and we are greatly concerned about developments in Libya at the time when the Libyan government strikes innocent citizens," Papandreou stressed.

The Security Council resolution gave member-states the opportunity, either on a national level or on the level of regional organisations or other structures, to take measures for the protection of citizens in the case of attack, Papandreou said.

Events in the Middle East and north Africa had shown that a series of fundamental political, economic, social and cultural issues need to be addressed in order to ensure peace.

He particularly emphasised the problems besetting young people in those countries, who could see no future or the possibility of meeting their basic needs and thus sought support, making use of new technologies to express their concerns in a democratic way.

"We must listen to these young people and see how they view their own participation but also how are movements can make use of the citizens' messages," he added, citing the example of Morocco where the popular demands were heard and the constitutional changes about to be adopted had also met the approval of the European Union.

He stressed during the meeting that the SI supported democratic principles and values, so that in recent months it had severed its ties with certain parties that had violated these. Pointing to the SI's past successes in bringing the two sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to begin dialogue, he said that it would continue the effort now along the same lines and with the same level of determination.

Papandreou back in Athens for SI dinner

Prime Minister George Papandreou returned to Athens late on Saturday after a lightning visit to Paris, where he took part in a meeting of international leaders that decided on military intervention in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

On his return he hosted a working dinner for the Socialist International presidium at the Hilton Hotel in Athens. Sources said that Papandreou, who is also president of the SI, will be meeting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on the sidelines of the dinner.