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European Commission - Press release

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton visits Tripoli and opens European Union Delegation

Brussels, 12 November 2011 - Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President, will visit Tripoli today, to officially inaugurate the new Delegation of the European Union in Libya. She will meet the Chairman of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, newly appointed Prime Minister, Abdurrahim al-Keib, and Ian Martin, the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. She will also speak at the first Libyan Women's Rights Forum.

"I am delighted to visit Tripoli to express the EU's continued support to the Libyan people's efforts to build a new Libya based on the rule of law, democracy and human rights," Catherine Ashton said. "Opening a fully fledged EU Delegation in Tripoli underlines the EU's commitment to our close relationship with the Libyan people, both during the political transition and in the long term. I will meet representatives of civil society organisations at the Women's Rights Forum. The EU is already supporting civil society in Libya, in particular women and young people, who have a major role to play in shaping Libya's future."

Catherine Ashton opened an EU office in Benghazi on 22 May. She sent a team to Tripoli on 31 August, after the capital was liberated, to prepare for the opening of an EU Delegation. Since the beginning of the crisis, the EU has provided more than €155 million in humanitarian support and mobilised EU civil protection teams and assets to alleviate the plight of civilians both in Libya and at its borders.

In addition, the European Commission is making some €30 million available to support the immediate stabilisation priorities of the National Transitional Council (NTC). A further €50 million will be available for longer-term support programmes based on needs assessments to be carried out shortly. As agreed at the international conference in Paris on 2 September 2011, the EU is preparing to launch assessments in communications, civil society, and border management. It has already deployed experts in these fields as well as in security and procurement.

Catherine Ashton will officially open the EU Delegation at 12.00 local time on Saturday. A press point will be held following her meeting with Chairman Jalil at the NTC headquarters (at 14.15 local time).

Full coverage of EUHR visit to Tripoli will be available later today on:

Europe by Satellite: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm

Council TVnewsroom: http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu

All news on Libya: http://eeas.europa.eu/libya/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Sebastien Brabant (+32 2 298 64 33) or (in Libya) +218 928 49 42 54


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