Washington — President Obama offered his congratulations to the people of Libya on the nation’s declaration of liberation.
“After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise,” Obama said in a prepared statement on October 23 in Washington.
“Now that the fighting in Libya has reached an end, the Transitional National Council (TNC) must turn its attention to the political transition ahead,” the president added.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who visited Tripoli on October 18, said on October 23 that the Libyan revolution that ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Qadhafi “was the work of ordinary, brave Libyans who demanded their freedoms and dignity.”
The United States is prepared to work with the TNC and a transitional government as it prepares for the country’s first free elections, Obama said. Clinton said the process of forming a new representative government that is accountable to the Libyan people must reflect the same spirit of the revolution.
Clinton said the TNC should work to announce the new government as soon as possible.
“The transitional authorities can build on this movement by promoting reconciliation and respect for human rights across Libyan society, while helping to prevent reprisals and ensuring the justice and due process that the Libyan people expect and deserve,” Clinton said.
“The path to democracy is a long-term process that requires the participation of all Libyans,” Clinton added.
Obama said that throughout the transition the United States will continue its close cooperation with international partners and the U.N. Support Mission in Libya to help advance a stable and democratic transition process.
Separately, Ambassador Ivo Daalder, the U.S. permanent representative to NATO, told reporters October 21 that the operation in Libya run by NATO and its partners will end on October 31. “That’s exactly seven months after the operation started,” he said.
Daalder said the North Atlantic Council is expected to meet and make a formal decision about the end to NATO operations in Libya in a few days.
“We also decided to wind down our operations while continuing to monitor the situation inside Libya and be ready to act if necessary if civilians are threatened,” Daalder said.