ATHENS — Greece welcomed the release of 18 fishermen, including many Italians, who have been held in Libya since last September, the Greek foreign ministry said on Friday. The announcement noted that the Greek foreign ministry, acting on the orders of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, had undertaken to mediate between the two sides over the last three months in order to bring about a good outcome in this humanitarian issue.
Dendias had sent a letter to Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the announcement said, where he noted Greece's desire to establish a region of peace and stability based on good neighbour relations and full respect for the rule of law, with the assistance of all the countries in the surrounding region.
He said that Greece, Italy and Libya as neighbouring countries linked by history must give an example of harmonious coexistence in a troubled region, resolving any differences peacefully, through dialogue.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio sent a letter to Dendias thanking him for Greece's generous support and stressing that the fishermen will be able to celebrate Christmas with their families, the ministry added.