Joint press point
with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Prime Minister of Libya, Mr. Ali Zeidan - Opening remarks by the Secretary General
Mr. Prime Minister, I am very happy to welcome you back to NATO headquarters.
Our meeting today is truly significant.
Libya has come a long way since the start of Operation Unified Protector just over two years ago. And a very long way from over forty years of dictatorship. The courage and determination of the Libyan people in the cause of freedom was an inspiration to us all. We are proud of the role NATO played to protect the Libyan people and fulfill the historic mandate of the United Nations Security Council.
As we know from our own history in Europe, the journey from dictatorship to liberation to democracy is tough. It takes time and much effort. But Libya has already passed some key milestones. We particularly welcome the election of the General National Congress last year, your election as prime minister and the appointment of a new government.
Today, we had an excellent opportunity to exchange views on the current situation in Libya and how to develop our relationship further.
It is important that the new Libya continues to move towards a peaceful, secure and democratic future. We stand ready to work with you and your government to help secure this future.
NATO has expertise in the reform of security and defence sectors, especially when it comes to institutional education and training. And we stand ready to help the Libyan government in these areas, where you need us and where we can add value.
We are also open to develop our political links. At the Chicago summit last year, NATO declared its readiness to welcome Libya as a partner within the Mediterranean Dialogue, if you so wish. That invitation stands.
So Mr. Prime Minister I thank you very much for your visit today. And I am confident we can develop our relationship to help build the new Libya, as a safe and secure country.