The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee says, with the Libyan people protected by a NATO-led mission, planning is underway for a post-Moammar Gadhafi era. Senator John Kerry spoke with reporters at the Capitol after meeting with a leader of the Libyan Transitional National Council.
Senator Kerry says the first phase of international military intervention in Libya is a success.
“We have succeeded in the initial mission, which was to prevent a massacre of civilians by Colonel Gadhafi on the ground," said Senator Kerry.
The Massachusetts Democrat stood alongside a leader of the Libyan Transitional National Council, Mahmoud Jibril.
Even though the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi has yet to be achieved, Kerry noted that the council is planning for the future.
“The transitional council has laid out a framework for a democratic post-Gadhafi Libya," said Kerry. "But they obviously will need help in getting there. Colonel Gadhafi has systematically repressed the key institutions of his government and the civil society. And it will be necessary for a functioning democracy to rebuild much of that.”
Jibril expanded on the senator’s comments.
“We claimed from the first day of our uprising in Libya that our dream and our vision is to build a democratic Libya based on a constitution, based on human rights, and based on a very active civil society organization," said Jibril.
But Jibril added that the Libyan people’s needs are great.
“Those Libyans, those civilians need just about everytype of help you can imagine," he said. "They need shelter, the need food, they need medicine. And inside Libya after the fall of the regime, we need above all some sort of social reconciliation, some sort of national consensus that should be articulated clearly to build momentum to rebuild our country.”
To that end, Jibril urged the unfreezing of Moammar Gadhafi’s financial assets. Senator Kerry said he is drafting legislation to authorize the transfer of those assets to the Transitional National Council, saying he hopes for prompt action on the bill.
At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney declined to comment on any intelligence the United States may have about Colonel Gadhafi’s whereabouts or physical condition, but added “he needs to leave power”.