Mr Støre attended the London Conference on Libya on Tuesday 29 March. He urged all parties to shift focus from the military operation to civilian and political issues.
“Military action was and is still needed to protect civilians. But military force cannot create a lasting political solution. The first step now must be to call on the parties in Libya to agree on a ceasefire and start negotiations on the transition to a new, democratic regime. It is also essential to ensure free access for humanitarian organisations,” commented Mr Støre. He expressed deep concern about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation for civilians during the fighting.
“We all agree that Colonel Gaddafi has lost all legitimacy and should step down. But it is not up to us to determine Libya’s political future, nor is this part of the UN resolution. A political process must be inclusive. Neither Libya nor the international community will benefit from destruction of the country’s political and administrative infrastructure,” concluded Mr Støre.
In Norway’s view, it is essential for the Arab League and the African Union to play an active part in the continued political process. Norway supported the establishment of the Libya Contact Group to coordinate international efforts and assist the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative.