FM Droutsas on Greek, European positions on Libyan crisis

Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas reiterated here on Monday, following the conclusion of the EU's General Affairs Council whose main topic of discussion were developments in Libya, that "Greece is not participating in the military operations, but is providing facilities of a supportive nature to friendly or allied countries."

According to Droutsas, the EU, with the decisions it took today, "is assuming a leading role in the humanitarian sector, in the framework of the resolution of the Security Council and in coordination with the UN's relevant bodies."

What is of particular importance for Greece is the fact that the EU reiterated on Monday its solidarity to the member-states that are receiving large immigrational pressures. "It is a joint effort that will put to the test both our unity and our readiness," the foreign minister said, stressing the importance of the participation of Arab countries.

The foreign minister further pointed to the "direct interests" that Greece has in the region, saying that from the developments "the security and the stability of our neighbourhood is being affected." He added that Greece's policy is dictated by self-evident principles of international and humanitarian law and that in the effort for the finding of a political-diplomatic solution to the crisis, Greece is at the disposal of the international community.

Droutsas said that "it is disappointing that the Gaddafi regime replied to the demands of the Libyan people for change and democracy with weapons and force," stressing that the UN Security Council has adopted the resolution 1973 and that the international community demands an immediate ceasefire in Libya and the protection of civilians.

Also referring to the meeting taking place on Libya at NATO level, Droutsas said that at the moment involvement is being discussed on the supervision of the weapons embargo, the imposition of a flight exclusion zone and humanitarian operations.

The minister left for Berlin on Monday afternoon to address the German Parliament on economic developments. On the occasion of his visit to the German capital, Droutsas will meet his counterpart German minister Guido Westerwelle with developments in Libya being the main topic of the discussions.

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