George A. Papandreou (born June 16, 1952) is Former Prime Minister of Greece, current President of Socialist International, a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and former President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Greece from October 6, 2009 - November 11, 2011, after PASOK’s victory in the October 2009 national elections.

George A. Papandreou

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Speech at International Conference on Libya

Points of intervention of Prime Minister George A. Papandreou at the International Conference on Libya

“Six months after a critical desicion we are here to look at Libya with hope for the future, and peace, democracy building.

Thank you president Sarkozy for your leadership and the conveying of this meeting and also for you David.

And I’d like to wish our friends chairman Jalil and P.M. Jibril ‘bon courage’ in their challenging and visionary task that is a creeding which we all hope will be representative inclusive a cohesive society based on the rule of law, the protection of human rights and the rights of women.

I’d like to say that the courage and the perseverance of the Libyan society also did liberate the country from authoritarianism.

As you know Greece is a direct neighbour to Libya and from the beginning we provided active support particularly through our Souda bay infrastructure and base.

Large scale evacuations of tens of thousands of foreign residents but also to military operation from our bases throughout our country.

Today we are ready to immediately help in the dire humanitarian situation and specifically we are ready to eleviate water shortage which you general secretary have highlighted as a major problem also president Barroso has hightlighted this.

And we get the green light and the necessary funding the greek water authority is ready to begin tomorrow to transport 175000 m3 of drinking water every 10 days with 5 especially charter tankers to Tripoli and this will increase the capacity of Tripoli by 50% of drinking water. And this can continue as long as the libyan people are in need.

Also with the cooperation of Qatar we have hosted many ill and wounded people in hospitals and continue to do so as necessary.

Again Crete can continue to be a hub for many of these humanitarian activities with the cooperation of the U.N. agencies as we have all the necessary logistical and infrastructure support term.

Of course we are ready to be part of the reconstruction and istitution building process in the lybian society.

Two final points: as I’ve said Libya is a rich country and a sovereign one. However oil production can be both a blessing but also a curse.

The lybian-led process is necessary but lessons can be learned. And if it is to be a resource to be at the service of public good and the Libyan people, and it’s an important democratic in the end issue for strong istitutions.

Transparency is of essence and I can tell you this from my experience in Greece.

So I would say suggestion such as from countries like Norway as Jens Stoltenberg mentioned are very important to use that knowledge to create the necessary institutions in developping these resources to the benefit of the libyan people.

Finally Libya is part of a wider revolution in North Africa and the Mediterranean.

And from our experience again from the Balkans these changes open up boarders and with it open up opportunities potential that had been untapped and oppressed.

This is a wider opportunity for the region and that’s why the ‘arab spring’ must be supported through a comprehensive development plan within Europe and the arab world, north and south, east and west, a dialogue of the peoples and religions collective institutions, to common practical goals such as energy, renewable energy and much more.

This will be a prerequisite I believe for democratic change, peace and cooperation but also stimulus for the economy in our region.”

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