Politics: PM Papandreou briefs Parliament on Libya, says 'Greece will not become the evasive neutral'

Prime Minister George Papandreou, briefing Parliament on Tuesday on the government's stance in relatioin to the events in Libya, stressed that "Greece will not become the evasive neutral in the developments in the region. This stance would not help national interests."

Papandreou justified the options of the international community on Libya so that, as he said, the mass slaughter of civilians and a consequent mass immigration wave will be averted, as well as for democratic developments in the wider region to be served.

He stressed that Greece's presence on the side of the countries in favour of armed pressure on the Gaddafi regime, with the approval of the UN Security Council, as well as the Arab League and the African Union, is in agreement with the steadfast positions of its foreign policy for respect for international law and serves national interests.

"As a country, we have an interest to contribute to the strengthening of our international credibility without the logic of double standards," Papandreou said, noting that when Greece calls for the implementation of the UN Security Council's resolutions on Cyprus and FYROM, it cannot oppose today's. The military actions against Libya, however, must also be accompanied by an overall political approach, that will aim at the promotion of national understanding in this country and at respect for legality.

"Many may be thinking only of today. We as a friend of the Libyan people must also think of the day after. They must know that they have a friend, with principles, unselfish, prepared to help the Libyan people in the rebuilding of their country. Greece will not become the evasive neutral in the developments. Greece's absence would not help our national interests. We shall be present with the force of principles, with respect for our commitments and for the need for the region's democratic revival," Papandreou underlined.

"Those friends or not, who had forgotten our country's considerable geostrategic role are recognising it and discovering it again today. This element must be taken into consideration seriously and colour the EU's decisions that concern Greece as well. Greece is and shall be a real pole of principles, stability and prosperity in the region," he added.

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