NEWS

Greece won’t take active role in Libya, FM says

Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed on Monday that Greece will not take part in military operations in Libya but will offer support in line with a United Nations Security Council resolution imposing a no-fly zone over the North African state as long as the forces of Colonel Muammar Gadhafi continue to attack Libyan civilians.

Speaking to Skai Television, Droutsas said that all the necessary measures had been taken to defend Greece from possible reprisals by Gadhafi?s regime.

The minister also rebuffed reports about rifts between ministers concerning Greece?s involvement in the Libya offensive.

In an interview with radio station Real News, Droutsas insisted that Greece has taken a ?balanced stance? on the issue of Libya. He said that diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the problem should continue, echoing the words of Prime Minister George Papandreou and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a meeting of European, US and Arab leaders in Paris on Saturday.

Droutsas?s reassurances came a day after the Defense Ministry issued a statement to emphasize that Greece was not actively involved in any of the current operations after two nights of bombings in Libya but was offering the use of its bases and airports. ?On a bilateral level, Greece is responding to requests from friends and allies for providing help of a supportive nature,? the statement said.

Several hundreds demonstrators, most believed to be students, converged outside Parliament on Monday evening to protest the international offensive against Libya.

On Sunday night, several thousand members of the Communist Party (KKE), marched from Parliament to the US Embassy chanting slogans against imperialism.