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Politics

Sakellaropoulou to al-Menfi: You Will Find a True Friend in Greece

ATHENS — "Your country will find in neighbour in Greece, a true friend and supporter" said President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou as she welcomed the President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi, at the Presidential Mansion on Wednesday.

Sakellaropoulou expressed Greece's support for the leadership of Libya's new government and al-Menfi, noting that with the election of the interim government and the vote of confidence it received from the Libyan parliament, Libya is entering a new era.

"Relations between the countries [on the shores of] the Mediterranean as well as of all neighbouring countries between them, should be governed by respect for international law and especially the Law of the Sea and the principle of good neighbourliness," Sakellaropoulou said.

In this context, she added, "unilateral or bilateral actions that violate international law have no place and are deplored by the international community. Respect for international legality is a prerequisite for peace, security and stability in the region and for the popular prosperity that is so needed in the Mediterranean region in which we all live."

On his part, al-Menfi said there is much room for cooperation between the two countries, underlining that "we are seeking to reach this point".

Ηe said that this was not his first time in Greece and expressed his love for Greece and the Greek people. "Our relations are historic and go back 2,500 years. There are five cities in Libya built by the Ancient Greeks and our friends the Greeks are welcome to come now as well, to assist in the reconstruction of the country," he said.

Al-Menfi said that Libya wants to see an increase in the Greek companies active in the country and supported Greece-Libya joint committees for the acceleration of this cooperation. He also underlined the need for cooperation on crucial issues of security and migration, saying that it was necessary to "work out the rules and manage the condition of all these people in order to put things in the right place".

He noted that Libya needs the support of the EU, United Nations and other organisations in order to be able to again function in a democratic framework and for peace and stability to prevail, pointing out that this was something that concerns all the countries of the region.

Concluding, al-Menfi said: "We seek to have relations at high level and I believe that, whatever decisions we have made or signed, as is the political decision for dialogue, we want to put all these things on the table. It is a start in order to be able to do a better job in the future. Let us collaborate, let there be joint committees from both countries so that we can put things in order and are able to move faster".

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