Two Greek military transport planes carrying 24 tons of drinking water took off from Athens Tuesday morning headed for Libya, with deputy foreign minister Dimitris Dollis on board at the head of the humanitarian aid mission.
Two Air Force C-130 helicopters departed at 7:00 a.m. from Elefsis military airport carrying 48,000 half-liter bottles of water, heading first for the Libyan capital of Tripoli and then on to Benghazi.
Dollis, who is accompanied by ministry staff, will hold talks in Benghazi with the chairman and members of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), and will also visit Tahrir Square and a Greek school in Libya, where he will meet with members of the Greek community in the country.
"Once again, Greece is operating in Libya. We must not forget that in times of difficulty, Greece is capable," Dollis said in a departure statement.
He thanked Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece for his contribution to the speedy and organised collection of the drinking water.
The first stop will be in Tripoli, where the water will be delivered. One of the two planes will immediately return to Athens, while the second will head on to Benghazi with Dollis on board, who will meet with the NTC officials.
The second plane is due to return to Athens at 7:00 on Tuesday evening.