News / Africa

Libya Support Group to Convene in Paris

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC. (file photo)
Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC. (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and officials from about 50 other countries are set to convene in Paris on Thursday to discuss Libya’s transition to post-Gadhafi democratic rule.  The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, is expected to outline the NTC’s immediate needs.

France called the meeting a week ago as NTC forces moved into Tripoli.  Now, with Moammar Gadhafi's rule at an end, the conference will focus on how to help Libya establish stable democratic governance.

The list of participants for the “Friends of Libya” conference has grown significantly in recent days to include key countries like Russia and China, which have not recognized the NTC as Libya’s new governing authority.

Secretary of State Clinton, who has interrupted her summer vacation to attend, says the weeks ahead will be “critical” for Libya and that the world community needs to act “decisively” to help the NTC.  But she says the transition must be Libyan-led.

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says NTC chief Jalil’s presentation at the meeting will be pivotal.

“One of the things that we expect to hear at this meeting is a report from the Transitional National Council on how it sees moving forward, what it wants for the international community -- including how it wants to work with the [U.N.] Security Council on the appropriate unwinding of [U.N. resolutions] 1970 and 1973," Nuland said.

Those United Nations  resolutions imposed sanctions against Moammar Gadhafi's government and authorized the NATO-led air campaign that helped oust the longtime ruler.

The United States and other countries have begun the process of releasing frozen Libyan assets through the U.N. Sanctions Committee.

But some leading members of the U.S. Congress want Secretary Clinton to withhold the money unless the NTC agrees to give up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted in the 1988 bombing of a U.S. PanAm jetliner over Scotland.

The NTC has told the United States it will revisit the case against Megrahi, who was returned to Libya from Scotland in 2009 on humanitarian grounds and is reported in grave condition in Tripoli with cancer.

Nuland says the NTC has more urgent priorities than the Megrahi case. “We need to give the TNC a chance to do job one, which is to finish the job of ousting Gadhafi and his regime, begin the job of establishing Libya on a democratic path.  And we are very gratified by the fact that they have made clear they are willing to look into this,” she said.

A key issue in Paris will be the question of a peacekeeping presence in Libya.

Ian Martin, special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on post-conflict planning, says the National Transitional Council's interest is in foreign advice, not troops. “In our discussions with the NTC, it is very clear that the Libyans want to avoid any military deployment by the U.N. or others. They are very seriously interested in assistance with policing to get the public security situation under control and gradually develop a democratically accountable public security force,” Martin said.

Human rights groups say the Paris conferees must press the NTC to avoid reprisals against Gadhafi loyalists, while seeking accountability for serious human rights violations during the Gadhafi era.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, says major responsibilities come with political recognition of the NTC.  “Number one among them is going to be avoiding retribution and reprisal killings against Gadhafi forces or against alleged or feared Gadhafi supporters.  Because certainly, as you can imagine, there is a lot of anger and rage that’s built up over the past several months and over the past 40 years," Whitson said.

Whitson says the former Libyan leader and his key associates, who face international war crimes charges and are still at large, must be treated with due process in accordance with international law.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs