The Hague, 1 March 2013:
A well-attended and lively reception yesterday evening, Thursday, to mark of the second anniversary of the 17 February Revolution, hosted by the Libyan Chargé d’Affaires in the Netherlands, Ahmed Tabuli, brought together Libyans working in the Netherlands, Dutch government officials, businessmen and foreign diplomats and representatives of international organisations accredited in The Hague.
“The Libyan people are proud that the 17 February celebrations in Libya took place in a very festive and safe atmosphere without any incident worth mentioning,” Tabuli said. “We have shown the international community that Libya is on the right track to recovery and that we can be a good example for other countries in the region.”
Libyan-Dutch relations are strong and friendly, Tarbuli added, but he emphasized that there still was room for improvement.
“It would make sense for the Dutch to make themselves much more visible in Libya, like other countries do, because there are many things the Netherlands could help us with in rebuilding the country after 42 years of tyranny and stagnation”, he said, while welcoming the initiatives of the Dutch Libyan Cooperation Council to help strengthen Libyan-Dutch relations.
In a statement on Dutch-Libyan relations, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans said they were excellent. “The Netherlands supported Libya during the revolution and will go on doing so during the transition”, the Minister said, congratulating Libya on the second anniversary of the Revolution and complimenting the country for the festive and peaceful nature of the celebrations.
Libya is one of the five priority countries in the ‘Matra-South’ programme set up by the Dutch government last year to help support the democratic transition in the Arab world. With this program the Netherlands contributes to the democratization, development of constitutional state building and economic growth in Libya. At present, Dutch aid to Libya in this field amounts to some €15 million.