Athens recognizes Libya’s rebel-led council

Greece said on Tuesday it has recognized Libya’s rebel-led National Transitional Council as the country’s legitimate leadership.

Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis said Libya can stand no more violence, and has called on the remnants of Moammar Gaddafi’s regime to «realize they belong to the past.”

Lambrinidis said in a statement that the time has come for a national dialogue in the country.

Greece has had traditionally good relations with Libya and Gaddafi, with whom Prime Minister George Papandreou held talks on economic cooperation during a visit to Tripoli last summer.

In March, Greece provided the southern island of Crete as an evacuation hub for thousands of foreign workers – mostly Chinese – ferried out of Libya by a relay of Greek ships.