Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament have welcomed progress made at the London Conference on Libya yesterday attended by over 40 countries, which decided inter alia on the setting-up of a Libya Contact Group of senior diplomats and international officials to steer the political future of Libya.
Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader said: "Whilst the ongoing military intervention has had a demonstrable effect in curbing the ability of Gaddafi to eliminate opponents to his regime, there still remains confusion as to the means to achieve a lasting political outcome inLibya."
"The Contact Group must work quickly to bring clarity and stability to a post-GaddafiLibyabut this can only realistically happen with the full participation of the Libyan Transitional Council. We must end all remaining doubts about the International Community's intentions regarding the country and insist on justice for the Libyan people who were victims of the crimes committed by the Gaddafi regime."
Alexander Lambsdorff (FDP, Germany), ALDE deputy leader and member of Parliament's foreign affairs committee added: "The creation of the Contact Group gives even greater legitimacy to the mission in Libya. The participation of Arab countries sends an unequivocal signal of resolve to the world that Colonel Gaddafi's repression of his own population must end. All Member States should share the same common objective of ensuring an end to the Gaddafi regime, the transition to a new democratic future and the means to achieve it."
Meanwhile, ALDE is very concerned about the particular repercussions on women who have been active during the recent Arab revolts amid concerns of cases of gender violence by the regime. The ALDE group has approved the tabling of a question to EU High Representative, Baroness Ashton, on action the European Union can take to hold those responsible to account:
Marietje Schaake (D66,Netherlands) who initiated the oral question, said: "The role of women in the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East has been critical to their success. We commend their active participation in the uprisings and demands for democracy, freedom and human rights. However we condemn the abuse and intimidation of many women during the clashes between governments and opposition movements. We are asking the High Representative Catherine Ashton to lead calls for an independent inquiry into the cases that have come to light such as in Libya and Egypt and to bring those accused to justice. We must be resolute in taking action to end violence against women as an integral part of our policies towards the region. An important indicator of the success of the democratization movements will be the improvement of the rights of women."