Greece's Prime Minister Papandreou
Greece's Prime Minister Papandreou Reuters

Libya is reaching out to Greece in order to seek a resolution to the crisis that is dragging on and has already killed thousands of people.

Moammar Gaddafi’s deputy foreign minister Abdelati Obeidi has arrived in Athens apparently on a peace mission, according to Greek officials, although the Libyan government has made no statement about the visit.

It seems that the Libyan authorities are seeking a solution, said Dimitris Droutsas, the Greek foreign minister.

The Greek government emphasized that Obeidi, who is responsible for European matters, was not defecting, as have a number of high-level Libyan officials, including the former foreign minister, Moussa Koussa.

The Greek foreign ministry, in a statement, said it is committed to finding a political, diplomatic solution to the crisis in Libya.

We reiterated the clear message from the international community: respect for and full implementation of UN resolutions, an immediate ceasefire to stop the violence, particularly against the civilian population of Libya, Greek officials stated.

Obedi will later visit Turkey and Malta.

According to reports, Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to meet Obeidi after a series of telephone calls which also included talks with officials of Britain, Turkey, and Qatar.

A political solution is the only solution, a senior Greek source said, reported BBC. We are here to receive the Libyans message.”

Greece has enjoyed relatively good relations with Gaddafi -- Papandreou flew to Tripoli last year where the Libyan leader reportedly offered to help Greece through its crippling financial crisis.

Indeed, Papandreou’s father, former prime minister Andreas Papandreou, defied the west in the 1980s by embracing Gaddafi.

John Psaropoulous, editor of a Greek magazine Odyssey, told Al Jazeera: 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.

Psaropoulous added that given Greece fragile economy, Papandreou may be seeking incentives from Libya, including cheap oil.

Moreover, while Greece has provided three military bases used by aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, Athens has not provided any other direct role in the military campaign.

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, Psaropoulous told Al Jazeera.