Dendias stresses need for withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Wednesday stressed the need for the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, during his intervention in the work of the high-level section of the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. He also referred to the support that Greece provides to refugees and migrants.

Dendias noted that the Human Rights Council has the tools to contribute positively to global efforts to protect human rights, while noting that Greece considers it the appropriate platform for international and regional cooperation in the context of the country’s foreign policy in the field of human rights. In this context, he highlighted, among other things, the need for continuous monitoring of the humanitarian situation in Libya, Syria and Myanmar.

Regarding Libya, the Foreign Minister welcomed the recent election of a transitional government by the Libyan Forum for Political Dialogue (LPDF), stressing that in order to achieve political unity and effective protection of human rights, the country must withdraw all foreign forces and mercenaries.

On Syria, he called, among other things, on all those involved to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. He also expressed serious concerns about the humanitarian consequences of the crisis in Myanmar.

Dendias also referred to the Greek actions and initiatives within the Human Rights Council, as well as to the support that Greece provides to refugees and migrants with free health care, social welfare and education, recalling the ongoing, even in the midst of pandemics, migration flows.

The minister pointed out in this regard that the Greek Coast Guard has rescued more than 319,000 refugees and migrants in the period 2015-2020.

Finally, he stressed that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque contradicts any notion of respect for cultural heritage and cultural rights, to which Greece attaches particular importance, noting that the competent bodies, such as UNESCO, should be taken into account.