Rome meeting on Libya boosts efforts to exit crisis

14:00, May 06, 2011      

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(L to R) Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jaber Al-Thani, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan attend a press conference after the closing of the Second Contact Group meeting on Libya in Rome, capital of Italy, on May 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)

by Silvia Marchetti

The second contact group meeting on Libya brought diplomats in Rome on Thursday to enhance efforts to find a solution to the Libyan crisis, but different voices have also been heard.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini hailed the outcome of the summit. "Today we have made an important step forward and the results of this meeting are very positive," he said at a press conference.

According to the conclusion of the meeting, three decisions were taken. First, the need to boost military, political and economic pressure against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi so as to further isolate him both on the global and national stage by luring away his supporters.

The second was the institution of a special fund, defined as the Temporary Financial Mechanism (TFM), aimed at guaranteeing "a transparent channel" of resources to the rebels' Transitional National Council (TNC) to financially sustain the ongoing conflict. Kuwait has already allocated some 180 million U.S. dollars, and the fund is open to all donors.

The contact group also stressed the importance of launching a "political process" as soon as a ceasefire is reached in order to prepare the ground for a transition.

The ultimate goal of the Libyan crisis-handling was to support "an inclusive national dialogue that leads to the country's reconciliation and reconstruction," said Frattini, who praised the TNC's incorporation of 17 other political and social groups as a first important step towards transition.

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