Friends of Libya conference

Meeting in Paris at the highest level of the Contact Group on Libya (August 23, 2011)

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MM. Harper, Cameron et Sarkozy
© Présidence de la République @ L. Blevennec - P. Segrette

Conference in support of the new Libya (Elysée Palace – Thursday, September 1st 2011)
chairman’s conclusions


This was an international conference which was co-chaired by President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron.

This conference took place in a completely new context in light of what’s happening on the ground in Libya. It took place in order to signal France’s determination to do everything possible to help the Libyans. To do that we firstly need to listen to the TNC’s representatives, to understand what their needs are and how they see the future. Another principle was reaffirmed: it’s down to the Libyans to decide on their future. Our commitment is a commitment of solidarity with the new Libya, a commitment to support the reconstruction of the country, to help the Libyans define their own democratic model themselves.

Compared to the previous meetings held under the name of the Contact Group, we’re using a different format. The Contact Group was established to provide political leadership for the NATO-led operations. We’re now taking a new approach. Around 60 high-level representatives and foreign personalities will be there to represent countries, or to represent international organizations. This was a key meeting. Our approach to this conference - which we initiated - was to signal our continued action and mobilization in a context that is totally different and which is forward-looking.

French statements :

  • Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

    Paris, 22 August 2011

With developments in the military situation on the ground and the increasing number of defections from his side confirming that the end of Gaddafi and his regime is now inevitable and imminent, President Sarkozy utterly condemns Gaddafi’s irresponsible and desperate calls for a continuation of the fighting whatever the cost.

President Sarkozy calls on those forces still loyal to the regime to turn their backs forthwith on their leader’s blind, criminal cynicism by implementing an immediate ceasefire, laying down their weapons and handing themselves over to the legitimate Libyan authorities.

President Sarkozy, who has just had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mahmoud Jibril, once again hailed the determination and courage of the NTC’s leaders and fighters and of all those Libyans who have risen up. He assured him that France will continue to support the NTC and every Libyan who stands alongside it, in order to achieve the liberation of their country from oppression and dictatorship and to help them realize their aspirations to freedom and dignity. He calls on the Libyan people to rally around the legitimate Libyan authorities.

Now that a transition phase is about to begin, President Sarkozy calls on all Libyans to approach it in a spirit of reconciliation and unity, in order to lay the foundations for a new, democratic Libya that respects the rights of all, where the Libyan people as a whole and individually can feel represented.

President Sarkozy invited the NTC’s Prime Minister to come to France on Wednesday./.

  • Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

    (Paris, 21 August 2011)

At a time when decisive events are under way in the Tripoli region, in Tripoli itself and elsewhere in Libya, President Sarkozy hails the courage of the National Transitional Council’s fighters and of the Libyan people who are rising up. He assures them once again of France’s full support in achieving the liberation of their country from oppression and dictatorship.

Now that no doubt remains about the outcome, President Sarkozy urges Gaddafi to spare his people further needless suffering by immediately surrendering whatever power he has left and ordering those of his forces who remain loyal to cease fire, lay down their weapons, return to barracks and hand themselves over to the legitimate Libyan authorities./.

  • Statement by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, on his blog

    Paris, 22 August 2011

End of a dictatorship

Yes, we took risks in Libya, at both diplomatic and military level. It was France who was the architect of UNSCR 1973. We – with our British friends in particular – were the sponsors of that resolution, which set the legal framework for the international intervention and, at the last minute, spared Benghazi’s population from a premeditated bloodbath. I won’t forget the gravity of the Security Council meeting where I spoke out in France’s name to secure the decision.

Within NATO, it was France who made the greatest contribution, and I’d like to pay tribute to our pilots, our seamen and all our armed forces for their courage and professionalism.

But as in Côte d’Ivoire, the risks taken were calculated. The cause – to which President Sarkozy and our diplomatic service were steadfastly committed – was just, because it was the liberation of a people and of democracy.

France’s people and parliament lent us their support. The most sceptical individuals quickly started to talk of getting bogged down, even though the operation had only begun in March. Today, the goal is about to be achieved. Gaddafi’s regime no longer has any future. His last supporters must finally act with dignity, stop fighting and lay down their weapons to prevent any more bloodshed.

From now on, we must look to the future. It’s for the Libyan people, and for them alone, to build the new Libya they’ve fought for. But it’s our duty to support them in this rebirth, which will not be free of difficulties. It’s true that Libya is a country with the potential for considerable wealth. That wealth must be put at the service of the country and its people. Everything, or nearly everything, has yet to be built or rebuilt. The international community must join in the effort, and in the vanguard will be France, whose early and unstinting support did her particular credit. A new page will be turned in Franco-Libyan relations. We’ll help to write it with the same determination and confidence./.

Last modified on 02/09/2011

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