Foreign Minister Westerwelle: “A historic moment for Libya and the world”

Aug 23, 2011

“What’s happening right now in Libya – the triumph of freedom over a despot – will not remain without consequences for the region itself as well as for the wider world”

“In this situation it’s vital that Libya not descend into chaos,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle emphasized in Berlin on 23 August. The important thing now, he explained, was to strengthen Libya’s National Transitional Council so that it could exercise as soon as possible effective control over the whole country. The German Government has pledged its help in rebuilding the country and provided a loan of up to 100 million euro, money that can be paid out in a few days.

What further support Germany could provide was also a subject Westerwelle discussed with Mahmoud Jibril from the National Transitional Council when they talked on the phone on 23 August. In New York Germany is working for the UN Security Council to take the necessary steps to end the freeze on the Gaddafi regime’s assets abroad so they can be used for the benefit of the Libyan people. This requires a Security Council resolution, which should now be adopted as soon as possible, the Federal Foreign Minister urged.

Internationally, the United Nations would be the key actor in restoring stability in the country, he explained. The Political Directors of the Contact Group – the group of countries leading efforts to help the Libyans map out a new future for their country – were meeting this week in Istanbul to discuss how to take this process forward. Ultimately, however, it was for people in Libya to decide their future – that was what they wanted and that was how it had to be, Westerwelle emphasized.

Speaking in Berlin on 22 August Foreign Minister Westerwelle had commented: “What’s happening right now in Libya – the triumph of freedom over a despot – will not remain without consequences for the region itself as well as for the wider world.” The dictator’s time was up, he should now step down to avoid further bloodshed.

Gaddafi would have to be brought to justice before an international court. He had ruled with great brutality and waged war against his own people. “The Libyans have fought for their freedom and it’s a triumph for the Libyan people that it is now within grasp,” Westerwelle continued.

What Germany obviously wanted to see was democratic change and a peaceful and orderly transition. Westerwelle welcomed the National Transitional Council’s appeal to refrain from acts of revenge and to support a process of peaceful change leading to a democratic future for the country. Besides building democracy, it was important also to rebuild the economy. “Here Germany is ready to help,” the Federal Foreign Minister emphasized.

© GermanyUN