US, EU Urge Libya’s New Rulers to Begin National Reconciliation

Posted October 23rd, 2011 at 4:05 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States and the European Union have urged Libya's new rulers to engage in national reconciliation and respect human rights, as they transition to democracy following the killing of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

U.S. President Barack Obama and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made the appeals on Sunday, in statements praising the Libyan provisional government's declaration of liberation from 42 years of Gadhafi rule.

Mr. Obama said the Libyan National Transitional Council should continue living up to its commitments on national reconciliation and human rights. He also called for the securing of weapons and dangerous materials, and the bringing together of armed groups under a unified civilian leadership.

The U.S. president said Washington will work with the NTC to prepare for Libya's first free and fair elections.

At a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, the bloc issued a statement saying it looks forward to the launch of a “democratic, peaceful and transparent” transition leading to the formation of an “inclusive and broad-based” Libyan government.

The heads of EU governments also offered more support for Libya's post-Gadhafi reconstruction.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a statement calling Libya's liberation announcement a “great victory” for a Libyan people whose courage and determination for freedom “inspired the world.”

In the coming days, NATO is expected to formally declare an end to its seven-month air campaign in support of Libya's anti-Gadhafi uprising.