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London conference on Libya successful, says OIC Sec Gen

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Group photograph from the conference. CC licence: British FCO

More than 35 countries, including seven Arab states, the United Nations and Nato, gathered in London on Tuesday to discuss plans for Libya’s future. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, told RFI that the meeting was “successful” and he hopes that military intervention in Libya comes to end “as soon as possible”.

Interview: Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Sec Gen, OIC

How do you think the London conference on Libya went?

It was a very successful conference and there’s a sense of solidarity with the Libyan people emerging. I think the international community is trying to help the people of Libya.

There was some discussion of a political process. What kind of political process are we talking about?

The political process should be led by the Libyan people themselves. We just have to help them.

The African Union wasn’t represented at the conference. Do you think that is significant?

I don’t like to comment on any other international organisation. This is not a fair question.

The Nato takeover of the command of the military operation. Are Arab countries happy with Nato’s involvement?

The parties or states of the coalition have decided and I think they are doing this at the mandate of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

When do you think the airstrikes on Libya will stop?

I hope as soon as possible because our target is to ensure the no-fly zone and save civilians from military action.

Do you think there is a problem when airstrikes could possibly cross over from being about defending civilians to actually becoming offensive airstrikes?

Of course that is the great risk and we should avoid that.

For Mr Gadhafi do you think there is a possible solution, for him to leave Libya? Is there a way out?

I think it’s the people of Libya who have to decide on their future of their country and it should be a political process.

Which countries do you think would accept Mr Gadhafi if he were to leave the country?

This is up to the countries, not up to me as the Secretary General of the OIC. I’m not in a position to answer this.

The next meeting that’s been scheduled for Qatar – what would you expect to happen at this next meeting?

To review the progress and implementation of the Security Council decisions and resolutions. The follow-up of the commitments of member countries and the implementation of those resolutions.

Radio France Internationale

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