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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid