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Statements of Foreign Minister Droutsas and UN special envoy for Libya Khatib following their meeting (14.05.11)
Mr. Droutsas: It is a great pleasure to welcome Mr. Khatib to Greece. Mr. Khatib is a former Foreign Minister of Jordan and a very good friend of Greece. Today, we welcome him in his new capacity as the UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Libya. Mr. Khatib will be departing for Tripoli, Libya, tomorrow, and we are very satisfied and happy that we can provide the necessary means for Mr. Khatib’s carrying out this visit to Tripoli.
Greece has said from the very first moment that it fully supports the efforts toward a peaceful solution of the Libya crisis. The UN’s role is very important, and I had the opportunity to assure Mr. Khatibl of Greece’s full support for his very important efforts. I repeat, once again, that we cannot reach a solution in Libya through military means alone. It is imperative that a political solution be achieved, and that is why the international community needs to make even more determined and coordinated efforts in this direction. Greece has contributed and will continue to contribute in this direction with its thoughts, proposals and initiatives, always focussing our efforts on supporting the UN.
We had the opportunity to discuss the humanitarian situation in Libya. Greece will contribute in the coming week with a vessel carrying humanitarian aid for rebels in Benghazi, together with a mobile medical unit that will remain there. This humanitarian aid will also be accompanied by representatives from the Foreign Ministry who will stay in Benghazi and liaise with the National Transitional Council (NTC). We believe that this is an important move, because Greece’s role is to discuss things with all the sides in this crisis. This is Greece’s role and contribution; that is why Greece is keeping channels open with all sides. This is very important.
Once again, a warm welcome to Greece, and I hope that your trip to Tripoli tomorrow is a success. This is something the international community needs, and I want to assure you once again of Greece’s full support for your very important work; the work of the UN.
Mr. Khatib: Thank you very much, Mr. Minister. It is my pleasure to be in Athens visiting this friendly country once again, for consultations with the Foreign Minister, with you, and with the Prime Minister, and we all value the role that Greece is playing in this region; Greece is an important player that knows the region and is affected by whatever happens in this region. We appreciate that fact and we count on the cooperation and the support that we are getting, I am getting as the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations and the whole efforts of the United Nations are enjoying from a country like Greece. And I must say that I really appreciate the arrangements that have been put in place by the Greek government, to facilitate my trip tomorrow to Tripoli, we really appreciate that, and this is an important contribution that adds to the many contributions that the Greek government has been undertaking.
We had an opportunity here to exchange views about the political situation, the need for a political solution for this crisis and tomorrow’s visit will allow us to be in a better position to understand the situation and to chart our way forward, and I look for continued consultations with the Greek side to share our views in this respect.
We also discussed the humanitarian situation and we appreciate the willingness of Greece to contribute to improving the humanitarian situation, and I also was pleased to know that Greece is cooperating fully and is willing to cooperate with the UN team in Benghazi and elsewhere in Libya. This is an important situation and this is an effort that really needs the contribution and the input of all parties concerned and we count on a unified position by the International Community in order to achieve a political solution to the crisis in Libya.
Mr. Droutsas: Thank you very much.
Mr. Khatib: Thank you.