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Foreign Minister Lambrinidis’ statement on the latest developments in Libya

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Foreign Minister Lambrinidis’ statement on the latest developments in Libya

Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis made the following statement regarding the latest developments in Libya:

“The recent developments in Libya mark a new reality. They presage a new future for Libya. The Libyan people have been through a lot and are justified in now having high aspirations.

They deserve a future in which security, real democracy, respect for fundamental rights, development and prosperity prevail.

Libya cannot take any more violence. The remnants of the regime must realize – even at this late date – that they belong to the past. The bloodshed must stop.

The heroic struggle of the Libyan people, the birth of the new Libya, cannot bear the stigma of reprisals.

From the very outset of this crisis, Greece supported an end to the hostilities and did so within the framework of a specific strategy, so that with our power – as well as through the structures of the international community, the UN and the Contact Group for Libya – we might contribute to preparing for the day after.

We actively supported operations for the protection of civilians.

We played a leading role in the humanitarian effort, contributing decisively to the evacuation of thousands of civilians from the war zone and making Crete available as a main transit center.

We suspended the operation of the Greek embassy in Tripoli and established diplomatic contacts with the National Transitional Council in Benghazi.

We dynamically pursued the initialization of a political process. At our fourth meeting, the Contact Group confirmed the role of the National Transitional Council in the transition process.

The time has come for the opening of a national dialogue amongst all parties.

Within this framework, Greece recognizes the National Transitional Council as a legitimate entity to lead the Libyan people in this critical new phase of the transition process, to the benefit of Libya and of peace and stability in the wider region.

Greece and the international community will continue to support this effort, with respect for the sovereignty of Libya and the will of the Libyan people. The European Union, in particular, needs to support the institution building effort with all its power, as this effort will fortify the democracy that is being born in Libya.

As the new day dawns, we are prepared to stand by the Libyan people. Our hopes are their hopes.”