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France/Libya/transition

Publié le August 30, 2011
Excerpts from the interview given by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to the newspaper “Aujourd’hui en France”
Paris, August 27, 2011

(…)

Q. – How will France support the transition in Libya?

THE MINISTER – The purpose of the Friends of Libya Conference we’re organizing for 1 September is to rebuild the country. We’re waiting for the National Transitional Council to specify its political road map and set out its requests. The rule of law must be established, oil production put back on track…

Q. – Will France take priority in the reconstruction tenders?

THE MINISTER – We’ll be in the running: the NTC has just stated it will start by approaching the countries that helped it. When people ask me about the cost of the operation – the Defence Ministry is talking about €1 million a day – I point out that it’s also an investment for the future. The country’s resources were seized by Gaddafi, who built up gold reserves. That money must be used for Libya’s development. A prosperous Libya will be a factor in the stability of the whole region.

Q. – Is there an Islamist threat?

THE MINISTER – Yes. Everywhere. There’s one in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria… But let’s not stigmatize on principle all those who describe themselves as Islamists: there are people who are committed to Islam and who at the same time are willing to accept the basic rules of democracy.

Q. – The Americans are taking the credit. Does that annoy you?

THE MINISTER – It’s only human. But we – France and Britain – are the ones who did the job. That’s clear. (…)./.

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