European Commission President José Manuel Barroso (pictured) has stressed the EU’s commitment to Libya in its transition in a meeting in Brussels with Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.
“We want to be the partners of Libya in this process. We want to be at the side of the Libyans as they build a new modern Libya,” said Barroso announcing that the two parties agreed “to intensify on-going discussions aiming at negotiations for the conclusion of a bilateral agreement, a framework agreement between Libya and the European Union”.
Barroso said he had conveyed to the Prime Minister the EU’s support to pursue the implementation of the constitutional calendar: “The next crucial step is the organisation of elections for the Constitutional Committee. The European Union stands ready to assist this process and is already in contact with the High National Electoral Commission to define our support. It is important that Libya’s transition remains inclusive and that a spirit of national reconciliation prevails over attempts of sectarian divisions.”.
Highlighting the EU’s support to Libya, the President of the European Commission recalled that the EU’s total programme of assistance stands at €95 million focusing on public administration, security, democratic structures, migration, vocational training, education and health, with €25 million for direct support to the civil society. He also mentioned the EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya, which has just been established with the aim of reinforcing Libyan capacities to manage its borders.
“Stabilising the country and establishing common and unified security structures is essential to consolidate the rule of law, an independent judicial system and of course long term stability. We will be assisting Libya to face all these challenges. For Libya is an important partner in our southern neighbourhood and an important player in the wider region,” said Barroso.
The EC President told the Libyan Prime Minister: “You can count on our committed support to this democratic, inclusive, stable and prosperous Libya, for the sake of all the Libyan people. I believe it is certainly above all in the interest of the Libyans themselves but also very important for the wider region and also very important for the European Union”.
Prime Minister Zeidan also met European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who echoed President Barroso’s message of support: “The many challenges that your Country is facing to complete a political transition and to ensure prosperity and security of Libyan people are certainly daunting. But let me reassure you that the EU and Libya are close partners and that we will remain on your side in this journey.”
(Source: EU Neighbourhood Info)