EU — Remarks about Cairo conference on Libya

Remarks by EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton at the Cairo con­fer­ence on Libya
Cather­ine Ash­ton, High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Euro­pean Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion, made today the fol­low­ing remarks at the Cairo con­fer­ence on Libya:

“Today’s meet­ing has shown once again the deter­mi­na­tion of key inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions to bring about a quick and sat­is­fac­to­ry end to the Libyan cri­sis.

I’d like to thank Ban Ki-moon for bring­ing us togeth­er just a day after the first meet­ing of the Con­tact Group.

What we see today is part of an ongo­ing process and it high­lights for me the intense and extreme­ly impor­tant col­lab­o­ra­tion and coop­er­a­tion that we have over the sit­u­a­tion in Libya.

We remain in the Euro­pean Union absolute­ly res­olute in seek­ing a rapid polit­i­cal tran­si­tion in Libya. We have been work­ing hard to ensure that the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tions 1970 and 1973 are ful­ly imple­ment­ed.

The Libyan regime must end vio­lence against cit­i­zens and respect human rights.

Those work­ing with­in the regime have a choice. They can either con­tin­ue to asso­ciate them­selves with the bru­tal repres­sion of Colonel Kad­hafi or they can work for that order­ly tran­si­tion to democ­ra­cy.

We remain con­cerned about the human­i­tar­i­an sit­u­a­tion in Libya and on its bor­ders. The EU has already pledged 96 mil­lion euros in human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance.

And we have decid­ed that, if request­ed by the UN and only if request­ed, we would con­duct an oper­a­tion to sup­port human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance.

We con­tin­ue to keep up the eco­nom­ic pres­sure on the regime. We have intro­duced strong restric­tive mea­sures that tar­get both indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies (39 indi­vid­u­als and 46 enti­ties). And we stand ready to take addi­tion­al mea­sures as need­ed to pre­vent fur­ther fund­ing of the regime.

Beyond the cur­rent cri­sis, the EU stands ready to sup­port the Libyan peo­ple in the longer term. Togeth­er with the Arab League, the African Union, the Unit­ed Nations, and the Organ­i­sa­tion of the Islam­ic Con­fer­ence, we want to play a cru­cial role in help­ing to sta­bilise the coun­try, in build­ing a con­sti­tu­tion­al state and devel­op­ing democ­ra­cy and the rule of law.

Although the sit­u­a­tion on the ground remains uncer­tain, the main para­me­ters of a solu­tion are clear. More than any­thing, the first pri­or­i­ty must be a cease-fire, the pro­tec­tion of cit­i­zens, and clear­ing the way for human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance.

The only solu­tions to end the Libyan cri­sis are polit­i­cal. We believe that the regime has lost all legit­i­ma­cy and should leave pow­er imme­di­ate­ly and allow the Libyan peo­ple to deter­mine their own future.

This must hap­pen through a process of dia­logue between the dif­fer­ent parts of Libyan soci­ety. It is cru­cial that such a dia­logue leads to a demo­c­ra­t­ic tran­si­tion. This process must be led by the Libyan peo­ple and must respect the ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty of the coun­try.

I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our close links to the UN, African Union, Arab League and OIC as we seek a bet­ter future for Libya and its peo­ple.”

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

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