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Brussels, 14 July 2011

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Dr Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Libyan Transitional National Council

I had a fruitful meeting this morning with Dr. Jibril, Chairman of the Executive Board and Head of International Affairs of the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC).

Dr Jibril provided an assessment of the current situation in Libya, in Benghazi and in the rest of the country. I praised the courage of the Libyan people who, against all odds, have bravely fought for their rights against the brutal repression of the Gaddafi regime. 

The TNC is a key political interlocutor. During our meeting, we had a thorough discussion concerning the situation in the areas of the country under the control of the TNC; we reviewed what the EU is already doing on the ground and explored ways and means for the EU to provide further assistance in these critical circumstances.

Dr. Jibril expressed his appreciation for the humanitarian support provided by the EU as a whole -more than €138 million to date. I reiterated the commitment of the EU to continue to deliver humanitarian assistance to all Libyans and people in need, throughout Libya, in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner.

Beyond our ongoing humanitarian support, we also discussed our developing cooperation in the Eastern part of Libya. We agreed that it is essential to support the development of Libyan civil society. The EU is already implementing activities in this regard and is preparing further assistance including for human rights defenders, youth, women, local authorities and media. We also discussed how the EU best could provide technical expertise in the fields of education, security sector reform, institution building to the TNC immediately, and to the future interim authorities throughout the transition process. 

I believe that the EU can offer some well-calibrated support in a series of fields which have already been outlined by the TNC in its “Road to a Democratic Libya”. These include: security sector reform – for which we already have an expert working in our EU office in Benghazi – administrative capacities, judicial reform and rule of law, constitutional and electoral processes, migration and border management, fiscal and financial management, etc. This work will be conducted in coordination with our international partners, under the leadership of the UN. Of course, a menu of options in support of the new democratic Libya can become effective only when conditions on the ground allow, namely after a cease-fire has been concluded.

I also offered the Commission's support for initiating a reflection on Libya's long term development plans, beyond the immediate reconstruction needs.

The EU will be a strong and long-standing friend to the new Libya. But as any good friend, we are here to listen and to support our partners. The transition process will be Libyan-led. We are ready to assist in the ways I have described - but in response to the needs defined by our Libyan friends. Speaking to Dr Jibril today, it is clear that an historic process has started in Libya. Nothing will stop this now.

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