News / Africa

    Paris Conference Contemplates Libya's Future

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy, third from right, addresses members of the Libya Contact Group during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Sept 1, 2011.
    French President Nicolas Sarkozy, third from right, addresses members of the Libya Contact Group during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Sept 1, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Leaders of Libya's uprising were in Paris Thursday with delegates from 60 countries and world bodies to discuss a roadmap for Libya's humanitarian, political and economic future, even as ex-leader Moammar Gadhafi, in hiding, vowed to fight on.

    Thursday marked 42 years since Moammar Gadhafi took power in Libya. But with the longtime ruler now on the run - in an audio message aired Thursday he promised no surrender - world backers of the uprising against him met to plan rebuilding the country along new lines.

    The meeting on Libya is hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. They were joined by dignitaries from around the world, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    Speaking in Paris before the conference, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said it shows that the world is coming together to support Libya's future.

    "The other thing of course that it provides today - that the conference provides - is an opportunity for the National Transitional Council to set out their plans for the stabilization of Libya and then what they do politically to create a democratic and inclusive Libya," noted Hague.

    The "Friends of Libya" conference gives the National Transitional Council (NTC) an international platform.

    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters that it is important to have confidence in the NTC leadership.

    Juppe said that the international community didn't intervene in Libya for it to fall into another regime that wouldn't respect the fundamental rights of the Libyan people.

    The NTC is set to push for access to billions of dollars in foreign-held Libyan assets, which were frozen while Gadhafi held power.  The United States, Britain, and France have already been granted permission by the U.N. sanctions committee to unfreeze billions of dollars.

    The NTC was also set to lay out plans for a new constitution and elections.

    Nicola Pratt, an expert on the international politics of the Middle East at Warwick University in Britain, says the platform that Thursday's conference provides for the NTC is important.

    "The council needs financial support desperately in order to start providing basic services, to pay civil servants, to start generally rebuilding the economy," noted Pratt.  "So this is a crucial period. If the NTC doesn't manage to do these things quickly then it definitely will suffer from a lack of legitimacy."

    But she says the importance of the conference is largely symbolic.  

    She says much of the wrangling will take place in the corridors as countries jostle for post-war contracts over infrastructure, utilities, and oil.

    "There is going to be some competition between those countries that have played a role in helping to get rid of Gadhafi feeling some sort of entitlement now that Gadhafi is gone and this reconstruction process is going to begin," added Pratt.

    On Thursday, just ahead of the conference, Russia recognized the National Transitional Council as Libya's acting leadership. But a number of countries around the world, including some in the African Union, have not recognized the NTC as Libya's legitimate government.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.