Dr Mahmoud Jibril and Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen meet tomorrow. Given the atrocities committed in Misrata and Benghazi the option of allowing the rebels to conquer pro-Gaddafi population centres is inconceivable – there is now only one option – and that option is peace.
NATO press release:
The Head of the Executive Body of the TNC, Dr Mahmoud Jibril will visit NATO Headquarters on Wednesday 13 July 2011 and meet with the Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He will also be addressing an informal meeting of the NATO Council and contributing partners to operation Unified Protector.
Abdul Elah al-Khatib, U.N. special envoy for Libya has said:
“I’m urging the parties to increase their focus on working towards a political solution. We would like to see indirect negotiations evolve into direct ones. Enough Libyans have lost their lives. It should be clear that any lasting end to the conflict will require a political solution, and this solution must fulfill the Libyan people’s legitimate aspirations for a peaceful and democratic future. Fighting to the bitter end will only lead to more unnecessary suffering.”
Update 13 July 2011
Following the meeting a press release has been issued by the NATO Secretary-General. Here is the important part:
We agreed on three things.
First, that NATO’s operations to protect civilians must continue. Qadhafi’s forces are still threatening innocent people. And as long as that threat continues, we must continue to deal with it.
Second, that the Qadhafi regime has lost all legitimacy.
Third, that there has to be a political solution. Led by Libyans. Supported by the international community. And fulfilling the legitimate demands of the Libyan people – as the United Nations Security Council demanded.
The time to find a solution is now.
For the people of Libya – who have the right to live without violence and fear; the right to plan their own future; and whose legitimate aspirations must be met.
We will see what happens over the next hours – clearly the Transitional National Council and Government of Libya need to meet and enter negotiations for a political settlement as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, hostilities should be wound down on all sides with all military forces refraining from offensive action. NATO should also scale back actions to the purely symbolic as further loss of life can not be justified.
Libyan Truth and Reconciliation Commission
A far better alternative to the ICC (given all the circumstances) to deal with crimes committed on either side of the conflict, will be a Libyan Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This should be staffed by Libyans with agreed international support and a Security Council resolution confirming this arrangement, with all required guarantees, should be achievable.
Clearly, Libya must remain a single state. However, it seems perfectly sensible that transitional arrangements recognise de facto administrative control of areas as they stand today with joint committees formed to tackle immediate issues of humanitarian aid, return of displaced persons and so forth.
The process of formulating a new constitution is a process which needs to involve the Libyan people as a whole. It is clear that it is in the interests of all involved that this process (which will take some time) improves human rights in Libya, builds social cohesion, prevents a return to conflict and allows Libya to follow its own independent path, free of outside interference.
In our humble opinion, the parties should not try to preempt the Libyan people’s wishes with regard to who will hold particular positions in Libya in the future. A referendum on a new constitution which strengthens democratic accountability and provides for elections for president is perhaps in everyone’s interests.
Update 2 13th July
Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen is travelling to the Hague.
Update 3 – 13th July
NATO Supreme Commander, Admiral Stavridis is travelling to Italy to talk to Italian leaders about Libya and Afghanistan. The admiral should be fully aware of the significance of the massacres of Benghazi and Misrata.
Update 15th July
Meeting of the Libya Contact Group
There is clearly a heavy burden on all regional players to support peace efforts and avoid actions which will undermine the talks and encourage beligerent elements.
The statement of the TNC that they don’t want a ceasefire during Ramadan is particularly despicable, coming on the back of the overwhelming evidence of the most appalling atrocities by their supporters and the ongoing efforts by individuals within their ranks to incite racial violence in the country.