Erdogan urges immediate cease-fire in Libya

Sunday, April 10, 2011

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday made clear his government’s policies on Libya, urging an immediate cease-fire in the country and necessary conditions for transition to constitutional democracy and protection of territorial integrity of Libya.

Erdogan appeared at a press conference at his AK Party headquarters in Ankara to unveil Turkey’s policies on Libya.

He said Turkish government was working on a road map that would help preserve Libya’s territorial integrity and its sovereignty, and also bring a peaceful change in the country.

Accordingly, Turkey’s road map includes three key elements.

"An immediate cease-fire must be declared, Gaddafi forces must lift the siege on some towns and they must withdraw. Safe zones must be created that would enable uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Libyan people. A process must start immediately for transition to democratic change and transformation taking into consideration legitimate rights and interests of the people of Libya so that a constitutional democracy could be established," Erdogan told the press conference.

He said Turkey would continue to hold talks with Libya’s officials to discuss this road map in detail.

"We have been giving a shape to our road map together with leading figures of the international community and we will share it with our partners including United Nations, African Union, Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference ahead of the meeting of Libya contact group in Qatar," Erdogan said.

During his speech, Erdogan also called for an immediate halt to attacks on civilians and reiterated his call for political figures to start the process for transition to democracy in line with demands of Libyan people.

"I would like to say that we have been following with deep concern and sorrow the pain and the ordeal our Libyan brothers and sisters faced," Erdogan said.

"Turkey has showed awareness to what’s going on in Libya since the very beginning," he said. "Turkey has never been deaf to any problems in its region and in the world. We have never followed a wait-and-see policy about Libya. We have never displayed an opportunity minded stance, we have just acted for rights and justice."

Erdogan added the major goal of Turkey’s policies about Libya was to ensure necessary conditions for transition to constitutional democracy and to preserve territorial integrity of the North African country.

-Erdogan expresses sorrow... -

Erdogan said that some groups, who did not do anything to prevent tragedy in Libya, launched defamation campaign against Turkey, stating that Turkey felt a deep sorrow on the matter.

Erdogan appeared at a press conference at his AK Party headquarters in Ankara to unveil Turkey’s policies on Libya.

"We know which groups are behind these defamation campaigns and we are following and noting," he said.

Erdogan said Turkish ferry brought 475 people including injured ones from Benghazi to Cesme Port in western province of Izmir under difficult circumstances and wounded people were hospitalized immediately.

Turkey supported implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 on Libya, he said.

Premier Erdogan said that NATO’s military operation should be carried out under the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

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