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Foreign Office Minister: Libya faces challenges but has a real opportunity to build a better future

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has commented on the first anniversary of the Declaration of Liberation in Libya, in which the National Transitional Council formally announced the end of the Qadhafi regime.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said:

“The Declaration of Liberation marked the end of a regime and conflict in which many Libyans lost their lives. Today - one year on - I know that they are still missed by their families and the heavy price they paid is recognised by their compatriots. At the same time, the anniversary of Liberation provides an opportunity to reflect on the significant progress Libya has made over the last twelve months: for the first time in over 42 years its citizens have been able to choose their own elected representatives, and the level of determination and commitment amongst civil society activists and organisations continues to be inspirational. My two visits to Libya since Liberation have shown me that Libyans now have a real opportunity to build a better country.

“However, this is not easy and Libya continues to face many challenges. The current fighting in Bani Walid is a clear reflection of this. I am deeply concerned about reports of civilian casualties and indiscriminate shelling of the town. The February 17th revolution was fought in pursuit of a country which respects human rights, the rule of law and equality for all: it is vital that Libya’s new leaders show their commitment to the principles of the revolution by resolving this dispute through political dialogue, respecting international humanitarian law and human rights, protecting civilians and providing access for humanitarian organisations. The UK Government has made this clear to the Libyan authorities and we will continue to do so.”

Published 23 October 2012