IPI HomeEventsSpeakers Events“No Obstacles Libyans Cannot Overcome,” Says PM El-Keib

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Wednesday, March 07, 2012

“No Obstacles Libyans Cannot Overcome,” Says PM El-Keib

"I like to believe there are no obstacles that we Libyans cannot overcome," Abdurrahim El-Keib, interim Prime Minister of Libya told an IPI lunchtime audience on March 7, 2012. The prime minister, appointed in October 2011 by the provisional government, the Transitional National Council, spoke about last year’s struggle to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, the support of Libya from the international community, and his government’s vision for the future.

“A year ago, I did not dream this day was possible,” Prime Minister El-Keib told the standing-room audience. “Now, I can dream of what is possible a year from now. The enormous accomplishments of the past year fuel my optimism for the future of our country. For our near future, I see a stable, inclusive, democratic Libya.”

Recalling the beginning of the revolution in February 2011, he said “The road to dignity, equality, and freedom, was very costly. The brutal regime would not adhere to the will of the Libyan people without a vicious fight. It promised its people rivers of blood.”

He said, “Fire was opened on unarmed protestors, heavy weapons were used to silence the people. But they were not to be silenced. That was the moment in which resolve and history was turned around. Our brave men and women met the very well-equipped Qaddafi army with an iron will to survive.”

“Our citizen army…suffered great losses with the rest of the civilian population, but stood strong. Stood strong in the pursuit of freedom, democracy, governance, and rule of law. It has not been easy. With great courage, and sadly also with great loss, we managed to push back Qaddafi’s forces from the east of Libya.”

Prime Minister El-Keib expressed thanks for the support of the international community. “The international community chose not to sit quiet and watch as we were being massacred,” he said. “To our gratitude, the international community decided to implement the UN resolution to protect civilians and rallied to our support.”

“It was the latent energy and the thirst and hunger for equality and democracy within the Libyan people which has brought to life freedom and gave us back our dignity,” he said.

Speaking about the transition towards a new regime, he said, “We have a legitimate presiding body, the National Transitional Council, and we have an interim government but the revolutionary fever in Libya remains as ever. The excitement about the future remains as electrifying as can be. We believe it is our job as government to keep these alive. We believe it is important to channel this tremendous energy, which brought us freedom into the process of building a new Libya.”

“Our main mission as interim government, in the few months that we have,” he said, “is to keep the revolutionary train on its trail, and pave the way for it to move safely and steadily forward.”

He warned, however, that, “The year ahead will be very challenging. The process of achieving the aims of our great revolution, freedom, equality, democracy, shared governance, respect for human rights, and rule of law, will take much longer than the mandate of my government.”

“The biggest challenge facing us today is overcoming forty-two years of dictatorial legacy,” he said. “As an emerging democracy, we will need the help and support of our friends and partners around the world, and we certainly welcome it and hope it happens.”

The discussion was moderated by IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen.

Watch video of the event:

The Global Observatory

CWhat Makes a Terrorist Stop Being a Terrorist?
A close look at terrorist de-radicalization programs shows that it is still unclear whether they work, and if so, how.

Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

November 25, 2014
Independent Commission on Multilateralism Launched in Vienna
The Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) was launched officially in Vienna on November 25th. The event was held at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and opened by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

November 13, 2014
Experts Forum: Assessing Links Between Peacebuilding and Organized Crime
Organized crime and peacebuilding can be seen as separate issues, but recent research and practice suggest the two are deeply linked—conflict is increasingly fueling crime, and crime in turn makes peace harder to achieve.

November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.

View More