|Libyan official in Greece for talks|
Libya's deputy foreign minister tells Greek prime minister Tripoli wants to end the fighting.
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2011 21:23
"It seems that the Libyan authorities are seeking a solution," Dimitris Droutsas, the Greek foreign minister, said.
He added that Obeidi planned to travel on to Malta and Turkey.
Obeidi crossed into neighbouring Tunisia and travelled from Djerba airport to the Greek capital on Sunday.
"They (Libyan government) requested to send an envoy with a message for prime minister George Papandreou and that is why he is in Athens," a senior Greek government official said.
In Tripoli, the Libyan capital, Libyan officials were not immediately available to comment on Obeidi's movements.
The Libyan official met with Papandreou later on Sunday evening.
Papandreou's office said Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, the Libyan prime minister, requested Obeidi's visit during a phone conversation on Saturday. Papandreou also discussed the Libyan crisis with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, on Sunday.
Papandreou has been talking by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Turkey and Britain over the last two days.
Speaking from Athens, John Psaropoulous, editor of the Greek magazine 'Odyssey', told Al Jazeera that close ties between the two governments date back to the 1980s.
"It stands to reason that Libya would reach out to the Greeks, if they would reach out to anyone in Europe, because Greece is a country that's always been Arab-friendly in its foreign policy," he said.
Given the poor state of the Greek economy, he added, its government is currently particularly susceptible to incentives from Libya, such as cheap oil.
While it has not participated in the air strikes, Greece has provided access to its territorial waters to French aircraft carriers southwest of Crete, along with permanent territorial access to NATO and US forces.
"So it is a strategic ally in the region and it is worth the Libyans making an attempt at least to see whether the Greeks are interested in showing some of their friendship," he said.
Our correspondent in Tripoli said there is much speculation about what might be discussed during the reported negotiations.
They could involve some of transitional arrangement to help Gaddafi "take a graceful exit from the Libyan political scene," she said.
Greece is likely to be viewed by Tripoli as one of few potential negotiating partners in Europe, McNaught said.
"Would Libya think that Greece would be a more sympathetic ear in Europe, than old friends like Italy, which Libya feels betrayed by, and all the other implacable voices in the rest of the EU?"