Posted by: africanpressorganization | 15 July 2011

4th meeting of the Libya contact group / Istanbul, 15 July 2011 / Statement by Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union


 

 

4th meeting of the Libya contact group / Istanbul, 15 July 2011 / Statement by Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union

 

ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 15, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 4th meeting of the Libya contact group / Istanbul, 15 July 2011 / Statement by Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union

 

 

Co-Chairs of the Libya Contact Group,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Let me start by expressing our appreciation to our host, Turkey, and to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, for the warm welcome extended to us. The AU and Turkey enjoy a strong partnership that covers not only peace and security, but also a number of other issues, including trade and development. We look forward to further deepening this partnership.

 

As you are aware, the AU has attended, as an Invitee, as we do today, all the meetings of the Libya Contact Group at the highest level. The Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Ping, was in Doha, in April, in Rome, in May, and in Abu Dhabi, in June 2011.

 

We did so because we are convinced that meeting the challenges confronting us in Libya requires an international and coordinated response. We did so because we are convinced that we should continue to engage all our partners for an early resolution of the conflict. We did so because we are of the strong view that no efforts should be spared to promote a political solution, the only way to achieve lasting peace.

 

I would like to convey Chairperson Ping’s apologies, as he could not be here with you due to compelling personal reasons. He has requested me to represent him and to convey to you AU’s continued commitment to work with all relevant international stakeholders to bring the current conflict in Libya to a swift end and ensure that the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people are fulfilled.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Your current meeting coincides with renewed efforts by the AU to facilitate a political solution to the conflict. The just-concluded 17th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, which took place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, deliberated extensively on the situation in Libya.

 

The Assembly endorsed the Proposals for a Framework Agreement on a Political Solution to the Crisis in Libya, as presented by the AU High-Level ad hoc Committee, within the context of the AU Roadmap and the relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council resolution 1973(2011).

 

    The Proposals endorsed in Malabo build on the outcome of the meeting of the ad hoc Committee that took place in Pretoria, South Africa, on 26 June 2011. At that meeting, the ad hoc Committee, among others, welcomed Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s commitment to an inclusive dialogue process with the participation of the Transitional National Council (TNC) of Libya, as well as his acceptance of not being part of the negotiation process.

 

 

    The Proposals also take into account the different exchanges that took place among the AU, the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the European Union (EU) on how best to expedite the search for a political solution to the crisis in Libya. I would like, in this respect, to make a specific reference to the meeting held in Cairo on 18 June 2011, with the participation of the Chief Executives of the concerned organizations.

 

    Following their endorsement by the Assembly, the Proposals were presented by the ad hoc Committee to both the Libyan Government and the TNC, in Malabo. We plan to convene, as soon as possible, in Addis Ababa, negotiations between the Libyan parties to discuss these Proposals, with the facilitation of the United Nations and the AU, as well as the EU, the League of Arab States and the OIC.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The conflict in Libya is entering its 6th month. The Libyan population has already paid a heavy toll in this situation, as did dozens of thousands of African migrant workers, whose plight and ordeal have yet to get adequate attention from the international community. The continuation of the conflict also has serious implications for the long term stability and security of Libya and the region as a whole. The longer the conflict lasts, the more difficult it will be to find a durable solution and stabilize the situation afterwards.

It is our strong conviction that the Proposals endorsed in Malabo offer a viable basis for bringing the current conflict to an end, ensuring the effective protection of the civilian population, and ushering in a political process that will make it possible to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people for democracy, rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights. Of course, these Proposals have no other ambition than to provide a broad framework on the basis of which the parties can engage.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We have, since the Malabo Summit, interacted with a number of AU partners to seek their support and cooperation in facilitating the early launch of negotiations between the parties on the basis of the above-mentioned Proposals. In this vein, the Commission had consultations with senior officials of AU bilateral and multilateral partners.

 

I cannot but emphasize the important role that the Contact Group could play in fostering a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people and is fully consistent with the relevant provisions of Security Council resolution 1973(2011).

 

It is our ardent hope that the current meeting of the Contact Group will mark an important step in the search for a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people.

 

 

It is critical that we step up our efforts to encourage the Libyan parties to seek a political solution. We call on your Group to extend its support to the AU’s efforts, in particular the Proposals for a Framework Agreement on a Political solution to the crisis in Libya, adopted in Malabo.

 

Let me conclude by assuring you, once again, of AU’s commitment to working closely with you in this difficult situation. Since the onset of the crisis, we have spared no efforts in trying to be of help to the Libyan people and parties, as demonstrated by the adoption, as early as March 2011, of the AU Roadmap and the subsequent efforts deployed by the ad hoc Committee. We will remain steadfast in our determination to assist the Libyan people to overcome the crisis facing their country.

 

I thank you.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)


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