14 August, 2006
Greece, which called for an immediate ceasefire from the outbreak of war in Lebanon, supports a resolution adopted by the United Nations to end hostilities in the war-torn Middle Eastern state.
"The resolution ... offers the basis for a political solution to this long-lasting - and admittedly extremely difficult and complex - problem. It also offers the framework of a political process with concrete goals and specific benchmarks and timeframes," Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis told the UN on August 11.
"War is not and cannot be the answer to anything. Violence never solved any problem. It only serves to breed more violence and to create a new generation full of hatred, void of hope and keen on revenge. A nurturing field for extremism and terrorism", the minister said. Greece backs UN resolution on Lebanon
She noted that it was imperative for the Lebanese Government to take effective and immediate control of all Lebanese territory through the withdrawal of Israeli military forces and deployment of the Lebanese army; and to proceed as soon as possible with delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, including the Shebaa farms.
"In the last two years, the international community has done an exceptional work in ridding Lebanon of any foreign presence. It is therefore not conceivable that it could accept foreign occupation on any part of Lebanese national territory.
Occupation by any foreign force anywhere in the world is not admissible in any way or under any pretext," Bakoyannis underlined.
"At the same time, Israeli legitimate security concerns are well understood and need to be properly addressed. We continue though to believe that, while preserving the right of self-defense, Israel must respect its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law," she said.
The UN resolution was a first but very important step towards a lasting and sustainable peace.
"We are fully aware that a lot remains to be done. We need to make sure that this resolution will be fully implemented. The bloodshed has to stop; and it has to stop now. The bombings have to stop; and they have to stop now. The suffering of the civilians has to stop; and it has to stop now," Bakoyannis stated.
"Greece responded immediately to the enormous humanitarian effort under way in Lebanon. But the ongoing hostilities have hampered our ability to reach those most in need and alleviate their pain," she said.
Also key was the plight of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.
"The question of Palestine, central in the whole Middle East conflict, should be addressed with the utmost urgency. As long as the Palestinian issue remains unresolved, it is clear that there will be no peace in the region. We must strive to create, the soonest possible, the necessary conditions for a genuine and in-earnest re-launching of a peace process for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all relevant Security Council resolutions," the minister added.
Source: Athens News Agency