Speaking today (24 July) in Berlin, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle commented as follows on the German Government’s decision to provide the Libyan National Transitional Council with a loan for civil and humanitarian purposes of up to 100 million euro:
”We have decided to provide the Libyan National Transitional Council with urgently needed funds for civil and humanitarian activities.
Owing to the war Colonel Gaddafi is waging against his own people, the situation in Libya is extremely critical. Funds are lacking to establish necessary public services and tackle shortages of everything from medical supplies to food. This means that people particularly in the eastern part of the country are enduring increasing hardship.
As a result of international sanctions, there are Gaddafi assets worth billions frozen also in Germany. These funds belong to the Libyan people, yet at the moment they cannot be utilized. To change that, we are now giving the National Transitional Council 100 million euro as a loan.
The Transitional Council, which is recognized by Germany and its partners as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people,guarantees to repay the loan from frozen Libyan assets as soon as the Security Council lifts the freeze and releases the assets to a legitimate Libyan government.„
The planned assistance follows up talks which Foreign Minister Westerwelle has been holding with the National Transitional Council since April 2011 in London, Rome, Benghazi and Berlin. It is consistent with decisions taken by the Libya Contact Group, which met most recently on 15 July in Istanbul.
The assistance is aimed also at strengthening the Transitional Council, which is striving to restore normal public services in the growing area under its control. Since the current conflict began the German Government has made available 15 million euro for humanitarian assistance in the country.