NEWS

Greece ‘ready to contribute’ to solving Libya crisis

Greece has said it is ready to contribute to an effort to restore peace to Libya, following a United Nations resolution allowing the imposition of a no-fly zone over the North African country.

?We are ready to contribute, in cooperation with our partners and allies, to the effort of ensuring that international law is respected,? said Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, who added that the international community was correct to allow the use of ?any means necessary? to protect civilians.

His statement drew criticism from the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which suggested that a non-violent solution to the conflict in Libya should be found and that Greece should not take part in any military activities.

Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga also called Prime Minister George Papandreou to insist that Greece does not take part in any military operations.

However, Droutsas?s comments suggest that Athens, which has traditionally had good relations with Colonel Moammar Ghadafi?s regime, was offering to play more of a mediatory rather than military role.

?Greece believes that everyone?s goal should be to solve the crisis in Libya, to restore stability and to ensure the smooth transition to democracy through a wide dialogue between the groups representing the country?s people,? he said.

?This must be the main goal and this is what the international community wants. It is no too late.?

Since Droutsas?s statement, the Libyan government has announced a ceasefire.

The foreign minister is due to meet the prime minister on Friday afternoon to discuss Greece?s stance following a discussion about Libya at a NATO council.