President briefed on foreign policy issues, north Africa

President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday had a meeting with Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and was briefed on the latest developments concerning foreign policy issues, especially the situation in Libya and Syria. After the meeting, Droutsas said their talks had focused particularly on events in north Africa and the Middle East, since these were in Greece's immediate neighbourhood.

"It is very much in Greece's interest to see peace and stability in the region," he added.
The foreign minister pointed out that Greece, "with absolute respect for the decisions of the United Nations, has from the first stressed and continues to stress the need to find a political solution for the crisis in Libya."
He called on the international community to make "a serious and responsible effort" in this direction.
Regarding Greece's role in the region's affairs, Droutsas said the country had contributed with its own thoughts, proposals and initiatives.

He particularly emphasised, meanwhile, Papoulias' own valuable contribution toward developing Greece's ties with the Arab world, both in the days when he had been Greece's foreign minister and more recently as its president.
"His prestige and the personal contacts that he maintains with all leading figures in the region have made a decisive contribution to Greece's voice being heard and our country playing a leading role in the region," he added.

Before their private meeting, Droutsas and Papoulias also referred to the foreign minister's recent visit to Cyprus for a meeting of Mediterranean foreign ministers organised by the Cyprus government, with Droutsas noting that the meeting was important both for Libya and Syria.
The Greek foreign minister will be in Rome on Thursday for a meeting of the Contact Group for the crisis in Libya.

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