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Greece recognizes Libyan rebel body, calls for end to bloodshed

(Xinhua)

13:46, August 24, 2011

ATHENS, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Greek government on Tuesday recognized Libya's rebel National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, while pleading for an end to bloodshed in the conflict-torn country.

"Greece recognizes the National Transitional Council as the legitimate entity to lead the Libyan people in this critical new phase of the transition process, to the benefit of Libya and of peace and stability in the wider region," said Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis.

The minister called on all parties in Libya for a national dialogue to avoid further violence and reprisals against "remnants of the previous regime."

"As the new day dawns, we are prepared to stand by the Libyan people. Their hopes are our hopes," Lambrinidis said, adding that the European Union would support efforts to "fortify the democracy that is being born in Libya."

Lambrinidis noted that Greece had held a leading role in civilian protection missions in Libya, such as evacuating thousands of Chinese nationals from the oil-rich North African country through the Greek island of Crete in late February and early March.

"We played a leading role in the humanitarian effort, contributing decisively to the evacuation of thousands of civilians from the war zone and making Crete available as a main transit center," he said, pledging that Greece would continue to offer such support if necessary in the future.

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