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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman of the Executive Board of the National Transitional Council of Libya
Brussels, 13 July 2011
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!
I just had a substantive meeting with Mahmoud Jibril, the Chairman of the Transitional National Council of Libya. We discussed developments on the ground in Libya and preparations for the post-conflict phase.
I think this visit is a sign of the growing authority and credibility of the Transitional National Council on the international scene.
It is also a sign of the EU's engagement in supporting the TNC as a key political interlocutor who represents the aspirations of the courageous Libyan people. A European flag has been flying in Benghazi for three weeks now, showing our support on the ground.
I welcome the vision of the TNC for the future of Libya, which is based on the principles of inclusion and democratic representation.
I also welcome the TNC's efforts to reach out beyond Benghazi and the East of the country. It is critical that the Council is seen as a genuine national movement with a clear commitment to an inclusive transition and national reconciliation.
The EU and the Commission in particular have already started to mobilize our resources to support this political transition, in close cooperation with our international partners, especially the UN, and also the African Union and the Arab League.
We are working towards a political resolution of the conflict which would result in the launch of a transition process in line with the aspirations of the Libyan people and respecting the unity and sovereignty of the country.
And we are also getting ready to assist in the construction of a new Libya. Our post-conflict assistance is being set up now, so we can start work from "day one".
Let me stress, though, that it is of course for our Libyan partners to define what they see as priorities. Libyan leadership, Libyan ownership are essential.
But EU expertise with political transitions can play a key role: for instance support in the organisation and supervision of free and fair elections; hands-on help with the creation of an effective administration and judiciary; support to the organization of the civil society and free media, all of which are vital for a stable country. We have discussed in very concrete terms, now, with the Chairman, several aspects of the support we can give to Libya.
The EU can also be of help with the security sector reform and the design of macro-economic policies.
Many of these actions are already under way. In the Commission, we are working concretely on this. A project on capacity-building for the civil society was launched last week. An expert on security sector reform is already working from our Benghazi office. Two further EU expert missions will be sent later this month.
Let me also underline that the EU is by far the largest donor of humanitarian aid in and around Libya. Our support so far is worth € 140 million (€ 80 million come from European Commission). That is a tangible sign of our solidarity with Libyan people.
In short: We want to help to build a democratic Libya, respectful of human rights, good governance and the rule of law.
Our unwavering commitment to these principles applies across the entire region. The EU stands side by side with those who strive for democracy, freedom and a better future. We are ready and committed to help our courageous neighbours realize their aspirations.
This is the message of support that I will also bring to Cairo, where I will meet Egypt's political leadership tomorrow, as well as civil society representatives and religious leaders. Europe's response to the Arab Spring is clear: It is a true Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity. It was in this spirit that I just received Chairman Jibril. I believe it was indeed a very constructive, positive, and substantive meeting.