Tripoli, 16 November 2013:
There has been strong international condemnation of the clashes yesterday in Tripoli’s Gharghour district.
As well as sending condolences . . .[restrict]to grieving relatives of the victims and reiterating support for the Libyan authorities, the British government has condemned the violence.
“We urge all parties to exercise restraint and to refrain from further violence,” said British Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa, Hugh Robertson. “It is essential that all armed groups are integrated fully into state structures, or put down their weapons and return to civilian life.”
Robertson said: “We urge the Libyan people to work together to fulfil the aims of the 17 February Revolution and we stand alongside them as they strive to build a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Libya”.
The German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle said he was “dismayed” by the bloody fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli, resulting in so many dead and injured. “These events are a serious warning sign,” he said. “I urge the government, parliament, and all political forces, to work together for a peaceful and democratic transition process in a united Libya.”
Westerwelle said that the people of Libya rightly expect their hopes, which drove the revolution, were being met, pointing out that this included: “The right to free expression of opinion and the protection of peaceful protests.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry said America was deeply concerned by the death and injury of so many Libyans in the clashes. He said the US condemned the use of violence and urged all sides to exercise restraint and calm.
“Libyans did not risk their lives in their 2011 revolution for this violence to continue,” he said. “Libyans fought their revolution to establish a democratic system in which the voices of the Libyan people could be heard through peaceful means, which all Libyan people have a right to do.”
He continued that there was no place for such violence, “if a free people are going to succeed in forging a peaceful, secure and prosperous country with a government based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
Kerry added that the US would continue to support the Libyan people at this difficult time and would continue working with the Libyan authorities to help build its capacity to deliver security and good governance. [/restrict]