Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Wednesday emphasised that respect for UN resolutions and their implementation is "self-evident", when asked about any deadline concerning NATO operations in Libya. Droutsas, speaking during a press conference with his counterpart and Maltese government vice-president Tonio Borg, reminded of a decision by the Greek government to provide operational support to NATO, without however, an active participation in military operations. He also noted that Athens from the beginning underlined the need to find a political solution, given the inability to find a solution only via military means.
On his part, the Maltese foreign minister said his island nation will fulfill all of the UN and EU resolutions for the implementation of sanctions against the Libyan regime. He added that Valletta is in favour of military-run humanitarian aid operations, such as the evacuation of foreign combatants from the desert, etc.
Conversely, Borg reminded that Malta has not allocated its airport for bombing runs. "The major and most difficult issue is where exactly the boundary of actions allowed by the UNSC resolution is," he said.
Additionally, both ministers touched on the issue of a possible wave of refugees fleeing North Africa for Europe, expressing concern that such a development will affect the European south more adversely.
Along these lines, Droutsas cited Athens' initiative to revise the Dublin II treaty, while Borg called for the liberalisation of the rules of implementation of European Directive 55 (2001), which was adapted for the Balkans but never implemented.
Borg noted that Malta has already accepted 1,000 refugees from Libya, which in comparative terms would translate into 200,000 refugees entering Germany.
Both ministers signed a memorandum of understanding for high-level bilateral contacts, whereas they will both attend an informal meeting of regional FMs on Friday in Cyprus, organised by the Cypriot FM, a meeting that will also be attended by representatives from Israel and Bulgaria.