World powers agree to increase pressure on Gaddafi

08:29, March 30, 2011      

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Photo released by UK Foreign Ministry shows delegates at the London Conference on Libya, in London, Britain, March 29, 2011. Over 40 foreign ministers and representatives from key regional organizations attended the conference in London Tuesday to discuss the situation in Libya. (Xinhua/UK FCO)

Participants attending a London conference on Libya on Tuesday agreed to increase the political and military pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Over 40 foreign ministers and representatives from key regional organizations attended the conference to discuss the situation in Libya and the next steps to resolve the crisis in Libya. They agreed that Gaddafi and the Libyan authorities led by him have completely lost legitimacy and will be held accountable for their actions.

A statement released by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who chaired the meeting, said that the Libyan people must be free to determine their own future.

Participants recognized the need for all Libyans, including the Interim Transitional National Council, tribal leaders and others, to come together to begin an inclusive political process, consistent with the relevant UN security Council resolutions, through which they can choose their own future.

"We call on the international community to support this process, working closely with the UN Secretary General's Special Representative Abdel-Elah Mohamed Al-Khatib. Regional actors, particularly Libya's fellow African countries and Arab neighbors, have an important role to play," Hague said.

In order to take the move forward, a Libya contact group was agreed upon to provide leadership and overall political direction to the international effort in close coordination with the UN, the African Union and other regional organizations.

In addition, the group will provide a forum for coordinating the international response on Libya and provide a focal point in the international community for contact with the Libyan parties.

Qatar has agreed to convene the first meeting of the Group as soon as possible. Thereafter, the chairmanship will rotate between the countries of the region and beyond it.

The North Atlantic Council, meeting alongside its coalition partners, will provide the executive political direction to NATO operations.

Participants also welcomed UN chief Ban Ki-moon's offer to lead the coordination of humanitarian assistance and planning for longer-term stabilization support. Turkey, other key regional players and international agencies offered to support this work and take it forward with the Contact Group.

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