On 25 August, representatives from 28 countries and 7 international organizations met in Istanbul for an extraordinary meeting of the Libya Contact Group. During the meeting, political consultations were held addressing recent developments in Libya as well as plans for the country’s transition to a stable democracy in the post-Gaddafi era. Partcipants in the Libya Contact Group meeting included diplomats from several European and Arab governments in addition to representatives from Turkey and the United States. Delegates from the United Nations, European Union, NATO, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) were also present.
Delegates condemned the violence committed by Gaddafi’s forces and called upon his loyalists to lay down their arms. Stressing the constructive role the NTC played in steering the country through this difficult period, the delegates welcomed the growing international recognition of the NTC and underscored the need to give it the necessary means to form an interim government of Libya. Delegates also emphasized the critical importance of unfreezing Libyan financial assets that had been blocked since the start of the conflict and stated that they needed to be handed over to the NTC without delay. The NTC briefed the Contact Group meeting on steps to be taken following the formation of an interim government. Accordingly, a National Congress is to be formed with the participation of all parties in Libya, which will be tasked with working on the new constitution.
During the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that "the military victories of the National Transitional Council against Gaddafi’s forces in Tripoli have brought the Libyan people closer to the noble cause that they been fighting for -- freedom, justice, dignity and democracy."
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who led the US delegation to the Contact Group meeting, commended “the courageous individuals who defended their homes and communities against Gaddafi’s violence, and the nations and international institutions that came together” to support the Libyan people. “Now we must bring the same resolve to supporting the people of Libya as they rebuild their nation” he said.
Another international conference on the future of Libya is scheduled to take place in Paris on September 1st.