Greek foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed that Greece had from the outset insisted on finding a political solution to the crisis in Libya, in statements to the press after the conclusion of the London Conference on Libya held in the British capital on Tuesday, and underlined the significance of the attendance of the UN and NATO secretaries general and representatives of the Arab League.
"There was broad international participation, 35 Foreign Ministers from allied and friendly countries. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was also here, and this was very important for us, because, as I always stress, we want all of these actions to be fully legitimized by the United Nations," Droutsas said during a press conference.
He stressed that "the Conference once again sent a very strong message: That international legality must be respected; that UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 must be respected".
"The main goal and the main message is, once again, an immediate ceasefire and a halt to the violence against the civilian population in Libya," Droutsas said, warning that "the military action cannot provide a long-term, sustainable solution".
"Of primary importance - and this is a central pillar of Greece’s policy - is respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libya. The Libyan people must be given the chance to decide on their own about their future," Droutsas continued.
"The provision of humanitarian assistance to Libya is an important matter. The EU can have a significant role here. I stressed that Greece - and Crete in particular - can play a substantial role," he underlined.
Droutsas noted that the conference decided on the setting up of a Contact Group, and stressed that "it is vital that the Arab countries, the countries in the region, also participate in this process", adding that Qatar has already offered to host the first meeting of the Contact Group.
"We will see when that can be held. We don’t have a clear timeframe, but I reckon that this meeting might be held by mid-April," he added.
"The London Conference had three objectives: 1. The international community reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions, and particularly with regard to an immediate ceasefire and stopping the violence against Libya’s civilian population, 2. We committed ourselves, once again, to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya, and 3. A political process was started for the ‘day after’, so that the Libyan people can take the future into their own hands," Droutsas elaborated.
"These decisions faithfully reflect Greece’s positions," the foreign minister said, and reiterated "the importance of UN Security Council legitimization, which was confirmed by the UN Secretary General’s presence here at the Conference."
"I also want to make the reminder that Greece and its prime minister underscored from the very outset the need to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis and for the future of the region. Greece has a voice in all the proceedings. It has a presence and will contribute by utilizing its relations with and influence in the region," Droutsas said.