zaterdag 19 maart 2011

Nicolas Sarkozy on defending Libyans against Gaddafi

Normally I would not (re)publish an article from any news agency on this blog. This one is different. It is the transcription by Al Jazeera of Nicolas Sarkozy's speech on sending air force to Libya. Sarkozy emphases the right of the Libyan people to live their lives as they think they should. He talks about the freedom that all mankind is entitled to. This basic right is what the Arab people fight for. The UN supports their struggle.
Al Jazeera publishing the French presidents' speech is equally important, for it shows trust in the intentions of the West.
One of the promissing side-effects of the revolution in the Middle East is just that: trust. Migrants who moved from Arab countries to the West, already get a different treat from a few months ago. The fear of their native European neighbour diminished and finally people start to talk to each other. The man from Morocco who is used to being followed by security inside shops, is now being greeted when he enters and the shopowner asks how he is doing, what he thinks about the uprising.
The revolution in the Middle East can be liberating in various ways.

Libya Live Blog - March 19

By Al Jazeera Staff

on March 18th, 2011.
[EPA]
Show oldest updates on top

As the uprising in Libya continues, we update you with the latest developments from our correspondents, news agencies and citizens across the globe. Al Jazeera is not responsible for content derived from external sites.

Timestamp:
5:25pm

Here, as promised, is a full transcript of President Sarkozy's comments, made a few minutes ago.

Together, we have decided to ensure the resolution of the Security Council demanding an immediate ceasefire and the stopping of fighting in Libya. The participants have agreed to apply all means necessary, in particular military ones, to respect the decisions of the UN Security Council.

"That is why in agreement with our partners, our air forces will fight any aggression on behalf of Colonel Gaddafi against the population of Benghazi. Our planes will prevent aerial attacks on the town. Other French planes are ready to intervene against tanks who would threaten civilian people.

"From yesterday, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Arab countries have sent to Colonel Gaddafi and to the troops that he employs the follow warning: in the absence of an immediate ceasefire, and failing a withdrawal of the forces that have attacked the civilian population over the last few weeks, our countries will resort to military action.

"This warning was repeated by all the participants at the summit that has just concluded. Colonel Gaddafi has disregarded this warning. During the last few hours his troops have intensified their deadly offensive.

"Arab countries have chosen to free themselves from the slavery in which they felt themselves trapped for too long. These revolutions have created an enormous hope in the heart of all those who share the values of democracy and the rights of man.

"But it is not without risk. The future of these Arab people belongs to them. In the midst of all the difficulties and challenges that they have been faced with these Arab populations need our help and our support and it is our duty.

"In Libya, a civilian population which is passive which requires nothing further than the right to choose itself its destiny finds itself in danger of life. We have a duty to respond to its angst-ridden call.

"The future of Libya belongs to the Libyans. We do not want to take a decision on their behalf. The fight that they are undergoing is their's. If we intervene on the side of Arab nations, it is not to impose on the Libyan people, but to apply to a universal conscience that cannot tolerate such crimes.

"Today, our intervening in Libya with the mandate of the UNSC, with our partners, namely our Arab partners, we do it to protect the civilian population, and to protect it from the deadly madness of a regime which by assassinating and killing its own people has lost any legitimacy. We intervene to allow the Libya people to choose itself, its destiny.

"It cannot be prevented from these rights through terror and violence.

"There is still time for Colonel Gaddafi to avoid the worst by agreeing unreservedly to all the requirements of the international community.

"The door of diplomacy will reopen when the fighting will stop. Our determination is total, and I say it with solemnity. Everyone now finds themselves faced with their responsibilities. It is a serious decision that we have been forced to take, together with our Arab partners, our European partners, our North American partners, France has decided to take up its role in front of history."

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