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Catherine Ashton opens European Union office in Benghazi

Commission Européenne - IP/11/625   22/05/2011

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE

IP/11/625

Brussels, 22 May 2011

Catherine Ashton opens European Union office in Benghazi

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President, will open an EU office in Benghazi on Sunday. The office will be initially located in the Tibesti Hotel in central Benghazi which is home to UN and international agencies, the EU's Humanitarian Aid Agency ECHO and diplomats from national governments. The office will foster EU assistance in coordination with Member States and other international organisations.

"It is very important to be opening the EU Office in Benghazi which I announced to the European Parliament," Catherine Ashton said. "It will be an honour to meet the people who have been fighting for democracy and a better future for Libya. I plan to meet key people from the Transitional National Council, civil society groups and our international partners. Opening an EU Office is an important signal of our support for the Libyan people. It is the EU putting words into action."

Following her announcement in the European Parliament, Catherine Ashton deployed an EEAS team under Agostino Miozzo, Managing Director for Crisis Response and Coordination, on Thursday to set up the office.

Catherine Ashton will officially open the EU Office at 1400 local time on Sunday at the Tibesti Hotel. A press conference will be held afterwards, at approximately 14.45. She will also make a statement after her meeting with the TNC at 1100 local time at the TNC Headquarters.

Video footage on civil society in Benghazi and preparations leading up to the opening of the EU office now available from the Council's TVnewsroom: http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu

Full coverage of EUHR visit to Benghazi will be available later today on the Council TVnewsroom and Europe by Satellite.

For more information on EU-Libya: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/libya/index_en.htm


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