New Libyan, Egyptian Leaders Debut on UN Stage

Posted September 24th, 2011 at 6:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Libyan National Transitional Council leader Mahmoud Jibril and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made their debut on the U.N. stage Saturday as they addressed the annual General Assembly session.

Mr. Jibril called on the international community to lift sanctions against his country. He said “a new Libya is coming to life” as a nation committed to democracy, equality and reintegration into the international community.

The new Libyan leader said his country has too many people living in poverty with inadequate healthcare and education. He called for the U.N. Security Council to unfreeze the country's assets so it can pay for development. The Security Council has unfrozen more than $16-billion in Libyan assets, but has not lifted all the sanctions.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr told the delegates he represents Egypt “in a new era and with a new face.” Amr hailed Egypt's people for overthrowing long-time president Hosni Mubarak in February, saying they stood up for their belief in democratic reforms, human rights, and fundamental freedoms.

He also praised the Army for supporting them, saying their stance would be remembered by history.

Earlier in the day, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned that the world economic crisis is deepening, threatening developing countries and the global financial system.

Mr. Singh said the “shoots of recovery” that appeared after the 2008 crisis “have yet to blossom” and in many respects, he said, the situation has gone further downhill and hurt confidence in financial markets. He also called for changes to the membership of the United Nations Security Council. India is one of several countries hoping to gain a permanent seat on the council if changes are made.

The debate at the U.N. General Assembly continues through Friday of next week.