EU opens Office in Benghazi, Libya

Cather­ine Ash­ton, EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Policy/Commission Vice-Pres­i­dent, will open an EU office in Beng­hazi on Sun­day. The office will be ini­tial­ly locat­ed in the Tibesti Hotel in cen­tral Beng­hazi which is home to UN and inter­na­tion­al agen­cies, the EU’s Human­i­tar­i­an Aid Agency ECHO and diplo­mats from nation­al gov­ern­ments. The office will fos­ter EU assis­tance in coor­di­na­tion with Mem­ber States and oth­er inter­na­tion­al organ­i­sa­tions.

“It is very impor­tant to be open­ing the EU Office in Beng­hazi which I announced to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment,” Cather­ine Ash­ton said. “It will be an hon­our to meet the peo­ple who have been fight­ing for democ­ra­cy and a bet­ter future for Libya. I plan to meet key peo­ple from the Tran­si­tion­al Nation­al Coun­cil, civ­il soci­ety groups and our inter­na­tion­al part­ners. Open­ing an EU Office is an impor­tant sig­nal of our sup­port for the Libyan peo­ple. It is the EU putting words into action.” Fol­low­ing her announce­ment in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Cather­ine Ash­ton deployed an EEAS team under Agosti­no Mioz­zo, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor for Cri­sis Response and Coor­di­na­tion, on Thurs­day to set up the office.

Cather­ine Ash­ton will offi­cial­ly open the EU Office at 1400 local time on Sun­day at the Tibesti Hotel. A press con­fer­ence will be held after­wards, at approx­i­mate­ly 14.45. She will also make a state­ment after her meet­ing with the TNC at 1100 local time at the TNC Headquarters. 

State­ment:

Cather­ine Ash­ton, High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, issued the fol­low­ing state­ment today, after her meet­ing with the Chair­man of the tran­si­tion­al Nation­al Coun­cil, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, in Beng­hazi:
“I have seen the vision of the Libyan peo­ple today all around. I saw the posters as I came from the air­port with the words “We have a dream”. I am here today to explain and be clear about the depth and breadth of our sup­port in the Euro­pean Union for the peo­ple of Libya.

With Mr Jalil I dis­cussed a num­ber of key issues:
— Sup­port for bor­der man­age­ment and secu­ri­ty reform.
— Sup­port for the econ­o­my, health and edu­ca­tion.
— Sup­port for civ­il society.

This sup­port is not just for now, but long into the future. The peo­ple of Libya have spo­ken about the future they want. I am here on behalf of all the 27 coun­tries of the Euro­pean Union to offer our sup­port to that future.” 

Remarks by EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton at the open­ing of the EU Office in Benghazi 

“It is a great hon­our to for­mal­ly open the Euro­pean Union Office in Benghazi.

Today I already had a great priv­i­lege of meet­ing peo­ple who will be the lead­ers of this coun­try into the future.

I can tell the peo­ple of Libya and any­one in the rest of the world who is watch­ing that we are very for­tu­nate – those involved in the Tran­si­tion­al Nation­al Coun­cil and those involved in the civ­il soci­ety have great aspi­ra­tions for the peo­ple of this coun­try and they have the lead­er­ship qual­i­ties and skills nec­es­sary to take the coun­try forward.

For me it is an hon­our to be able to be here and to for­mal­ly open this office.

It is the sym­bol of the Euro­pean Union being here, but also of the EU being here to stay.

And the com­mit­ment that I bring is not just that we will be here in these com­ing weeks and months, but also in the years to come.

And as Libya cre­ates its own democ­ra­cy, as the Libyan peo­ple move for­ward, the Euro­pean Union will be there to sup­port that process and to sup­port the people.” 

Source:
Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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