International Conference On Libya In Paris, Qaddafi Promises to Fight
British foreign secretary William Hague expressed on Thursday, during an international conference on Libya, jointly hosted by UK prime minister David Cameron and French president Nicolas Sarkozy, hope that the Libyan National Transitional Council would respect the schedule for elections, and that they would be carried out properly. NTC said that they wanted to draw a new constitution and to organize election in April 2012. If they meet the deadline, these would be the first free elections in the history of Libya.
As the NTC leaders pointed out, the country does not have any history of political parties, of election or democratic life, one reason why they accepted the UN help on organizing the elections, though they have dismissed the idea of UN troops on their territory to help stabilize the country.
In a report leaked to the media, UN special advisor for Libya Ian Martin was suggesting that 40,000 people be recruited and trained by the UN so that they may participate in the scheduled elections in Libya.
William Hague admitted though that the time frame has been decided by the Libyans and that they may change it if they feel necessary. He offered the example of Egypt, where the elections were scheduled for September and were postponed then until October as the Egyptian military council felt the country was not ready for elections yet.
In an interview on the subject, Hague said that the important thing now is to create in Libya a free and inclusive society, where everyone would feel represented, and added that the Western country would provide a diplomatic assistance.
The conference in Paris will be attended by U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton, by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and by representatives of Russia and China, even though Russia and China did not back the resolution that permitted NATO to intervene in Libya to remove Muammar al-Qaddafi. The chief of Libyan NTC is also attending.
The purpose of the meeting is to unlock funds for the new state of Libya, which is confronted with many post-war shortcomings, and needs money to make the country run before the hatred that galvanized people against Qaddafi turns against the new leadership, as it would, if problems continue to happen.
Already Libyan banknotes that had been printed in the UK and were retained there for the duration of the war were dispatched to the new Libyan government. Their worth is of around $1.3 billion.
UN also announced that the oil embargo on Libya has been lifted, which should give the new regime another push into the right direction.
Still, the former leader of the country remains at large, with nobody knowing what has become of him.
His hometown Sirte still resists the attacks of the rebel army, and were given until Saturday to surrender. The rebels said that they didn’t want any more bloodshed.
However, it is considered that Qaddafi could be hiding in there, which would compel the rebels to storm the city, since everybody seems to think that things would not return to normal completely until he was apprehended.
A $1.3 million was placed on Qaddafi’s head, dead or alive, and a full pardon has been promised those within his army’s ranks who kill him. Rebels announced on Thursday that Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, Qaddafi’s foreign minister, was captured.
Meanwhile, Libya seems to have chosen for now the status of republic, though a powerful pro-monarchy movement exists, and the flag of the country is the one of the monarchy. It also regained the status into the Arab League, lost when Qaddafi shifted toward the African Union.
The new leadership of the country has been recognized by Iran also, the NTC chief receiving an invitation to visit this country.
Update: Muammar al Qaddafi sent a message from hiding on Thursday, announcing that he will not stop fighting and that the people in the three major cities that are still loyal to him will not stop until victory. “Let Libya burn!” said Qaddafi in a message relayed by a Syrian television. The message comes on the 42nd anniversary of the coup that overthrew the monarchy and brought him to power.11