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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid