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Foreign Minister Droutsas’ statement following the Meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers

Friday, 15 April 2011

Foreign Minister Droutsas’ statement following the Meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers Mr. Droutsas: Today’s informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers began with a discussion of developments in Libya. We have stressed that military means alone cannot resolve this crisis. Greece has stressed from the very outset – consistently – that there needs to be a political solution, and we have submitted our thoughts and proposals within this framework. Yesterday’s first meeting of the Contact Group, in Doha, Qatar, underscored precisely this: that there needs to be a political solution. And in fact we agreed that the UN has to play a coordinating role in this.

At the same time, however, we mustn’t forget that the civilian population of Libya needs to be protected, and it is in exactly this area that NATO’s role has proved vital, and I think we reaffirmed this today, at our meeting. But there are two important points: first, that all NATO operations be carried out completely within the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions – this is a necessary prerequisite for us. And second, the participation of some Arab countries in these operations and their cooperating with NATO. Greece, as is well known, has decided to support these operations via its military bases, but Greece is not participating actively in the military and battle operations. This needs to be clear. This is Greece’s stance – the Greek government’s stance – and nothing has changed on that front.

Finally, humanitarian aid is now very important. The Libyan people are in urgent need. I had the opportunity here to stress once again the important role Crete can play in coordinating the provision of humanitarian aid by the international community, and to express, at the NATO table, our readiness for Crete to play this role.

Thank you very much.

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