London, 23 October:
Saluting those Libyans who lost their lives in last year’s revolution, British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has said that it had made significant progress in the year since liberation was declared.
“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”, said Burt speaking on the first anniversary of the formal declaration of the end of the Qaddafi regime by the former National Transitional Council.
He said that during his two visits to Libya since liberation he had seen that Libyans had a real opportunity to build a better country. However, there is was not plain sailing.
“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.”
He called on the Libyan authorities to stand by the international humanitarian principles which had been a fundamental part of the revolution.
“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 British government, he said, had made this clear to the Libyan authorities and would “continue to do so.” [/restrict]