The international community’s goal in Libya right now must be to obtain a ceasefire followed by the withdrawal of Qadhafi’s forces, back to their barracks, and the start of a “political process” that leads to a “democratic Libya”.
This was the hope expressed by Minister Frattini in his opening address to the Contact Group Meeting on Libya at the Foreign Ministry today, 5 May 2011. The head of Italian diplomacy declared that he welcomed the road map drawn up by the Transitional National Council in Benghazi. Today’s Conference, he added, “is just one step in a long process that needs to lead from ceasefire to reconstruction, and which includes many serious challenges. I am confident, however”, underscored the Minister, “that if our determination is equally serious, the new Libya will prevail”. In Frattini’s view, “Our message must be that we shall keep up the pressure, using all legitimate means and with the aim also of convincing Qadhafi’s entourage to join the many who have already defected”
“I hope”, added Frattini, “that more and more partners will consider establishing bilateral relations with the Libyan National Transitional Council (TNC). This will help strengthen our Benghazi partners and increase the Qadhafi regime’s sense of isolation”. Frattini also announced a “special fund” to provide the Libyan rebels and the TNC with financial help. The “Temporary Financial Mechanism”, explained Frattini, “will permit funds to be channelled effectively and transparently to the TNC”.
“The importance of a political solution to the Libyan crisis” was underscored by Minister Frattini and the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, at the joint press conference held at the Foreign Ministry in Rome this morning. The press conference followed their bilateral discussion, which took place in the run-up to the Contact Group Meeting. Both agreed that “military pressure must be a means of convincing the Qadhafi regime to stop its attacks against civilians”.
22 countries and six international organisations – EU, UN, NATO, the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Gulf Cooperation Council are taking part in the Contact Group meeting co-chaired by Minister Franco Frattini and the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sheik Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.
- Resolution 1970
- Security Council Resolution 1973
- London Conference – conclusions
- First Contact Group meeting on Libya (Doha) – conclusions