ISTANBUL, July 15 (Reuters) - Following are excerpts from the Libya Contact Group Chair’s statement at a meeting of the group in Istanbul on Friday:
* The Group stressed that the need for establishment of a genuine ceasefire and provision of safe humanitarian access remains as urgent as ever.
* The participants reiterated that successful implementation of a ceasefire would require the immediate withdrawal of the forces of the Regime in Tripoli to bases, the release of all those detained or kidnapped by the Gaddafi regime, the opening of all borders and border gates in order to ensure fast and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid and then treatment of the wounded and the provision of water and electricity to all cities and regions in order to help normalize life.
* The Group reaffirmed its support for the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people which requires a process of comprehensive and inclusive political transition.
* The Contact Group noted that the Gaddafi regime no longer has any legitimate authority in Libya and that Gaddafi and certain members of his family must go.
* Henceforth and until an interim authority is in place, the participants agreed to deal with the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate governing authority in Libya.
* The Group welcomed the role of the NTC in leading the transition process in Libya and expressed support for its efforts to broaden its popular base to embrace all Libyan people.
* The Group urged all relevant parties to explore ways and means of paving the way for the formation of an interim government to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition of power with the widest popular support possible.
* In line with the NTC’s “Road Map”, the formation of an interim government should be quickly followed by the convening of a National Congress with representatives from all parts of Libya.
* The Contact Group reaffirmed the leading role of the United Nations in facilitating dialogue and supporting an inclusive political transition process, through the good offices of the UN Secretary General through his Special Envoy for Libya.
* The Contact Group welcomed the statement of UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Libya and called on all actors to cooperate with the UN Special Envoy and coordinate with him their efforts for contributing to finding a solution to the crisis.
* In the light of the need for Gaddafi to go and for a political transition process in Libya, the Contact Group set forth the following overarching principles that would guide efforts in this regard:
- Gaddafi must leave power according to defined steps to be publicly announced.
- Respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty... of Libya;
- There should be justice for Libyans who have suffered atrocities during the conflict, but without reprisals. Perpetrators of atrocities against civilians cannot be part of the negotiating process or of a future political settlement. The transition period will reflect the principles outlined in the NTC’s Road Map, including the formation of a national congress, an interim government, and a supreme executive council.
- The transition process will be inclusive, Libyan-owned and representative including the potential participation of select members of the previous bureaucracy as stipulated in the NTC Road Map; the opposition; and other elements of Libyan society. The process should lead to national reconciliation. All groups should have their voices heard.
- Contact Group participants invited UN Special Envoy, working with regional organizations such as of the African Union and the League of Arab States, to use these principles as the basis for developing a mechanism with the relevant parties in Libya to bring about a Libyan-led political transition. Contact Group participants welcomed the timetable of activity outlined by UN Special Envoy, including further visits to Tripoli and Benghazi, to build momentum towards transition.
* Participants recalled the obvious need for bolstering international support to the NTC in order to alleviate the Council’s urgent need for cash particularly for sustaining public services and maintaining basic living conditions among the people. In this regard, the Group and the NTC agreed to work together on the disposition of Libya’s overseas assets for use during this transitional period for the benefit of the Libyan people.