WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2011 — President Barack Obama congratulated the Libyan people on their Liberation Day, saying the nation is beginning a “new era of promise.”
In Tripoli, leaders of the Transitional National Council declared today Liberation Day, thus officially ending 42 years of Moammar Gadhafi’s tyrannical rule. The Libyan ruler was killed Oct. 20 in Sirte.
Libyans greeted Liberation Day with jubilation, with many instances of celebratory gunfire heard across the nation.
“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Libya on today’s historic declaration of liberation,” Obama said in a written declaration released by the White House today. “After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.”
But Obama noted that much hard work remains in Libya. He said the officials of the Transitional National Council must turn their attention to the political transition ahead.
“We look forward to working with the TNC and an empowered transitional government as they prepare for the country’s first free and fair elections,” the president said.
Obama called on Libyan leaders to respect human rights, to reconcile with Gadhafi’s followers and bring together disparate armed groups under government control. He also called on Libyan leaders to secure weapons and dangerous materials.
“As they take these steps, the United States will continue our close cooperation with our international partners and the U.N. support mission in Libya to help advance a stable, democratic transition,” he wrote.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)