Support Libya! |
Arab News - 12 July, 2012
Author: Tariq Alhomayed
There can be no doubt that Libya is not Muammar Qaddafi, and it does not even resemble Qaddafi’s end, which epitomized his rule and approach. Libya is an Arab state that has a role and status that must be restored. It is a country whose people are eager for peace and a life of dignity, and we must help them in this regard. This is not by interfering in Libya’s internal affairs, but the opposite.
Today, the Arab world, and particularly the Gulf states, should extend their hand to Libya and the Libyan people, by sending a prestigious ambassador to their country. This is not to interfere in Libyan affairs — whether positively or negatively — but in order to strengthen communication and return Libya to its rightful place in the Arab world. This would be in order to deepen cooperation and coordination, opening all the doors to allow Libya to integrate in the Arab world. Libya’s importance is in its history, its Arab identity and its people, not its conflicting and gloomy history during the Qaddafi era. The importance of Libya today, particularly following the recent elections whose results have brought joy to the people of Libya, as well as the intellectuals in the Arab world — or shall we say the advocates of stability — is that it has confirmed that the majority of Libyans want to build a civil state, away from religious controversies or otherwise. Therefore, Mr. Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the National Front Alliance (NFA), was politically correct to ask that his coalition not be described as a “liberal” coalition, but rather as a national Libyan coalition, and a victory for all of Libya.
This is political language that must be respected, however the reality tells us that Libya today is a different country, and the victory of the NFA means that it has blocked the emergence of a Muslim Brotherhood triangle in Africa, namely a triangle incorporating the Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Tripoli is important because it is oil-rich, therefore the results of the Libyan elections means that it is vitally important to help Libya today. This help would be characterized by respecting Libya’s status and restoring it to its natural and sought-after place with regards to all the rational political approaches in the region, whether with regards to the Syrian file or other regional issues. This will not take place by attempting to control Libya, or interfering in its internal affairs, whether in terms of politics, economics or media. This is something that will occur by communicating with Libya, respecting its position and role, and extending the hand of cooperation to the country, as well as involving it in Arab concerns and granting it the space that it requires.
The results of the Libyan elections confirm that the Libyan people are eager to move forward. We do not know whether the Libyans benefited from what has taken place in the surrounding region in Egypt and Tunisia or if they had sufficient experience of armed militias or whether Libya is a different story that the Arabs do not understand, believing the country to be Qaddafi and nothing more. What is most important today is that the Libyan people themselves have stated — via the ballot boxes — that they are eager for the future and keen to build a civil state based on institutions. Therefore, it is our duty to help them, and as I stated before, this will not occur by interfering in internal Libyan affairs, but rather by extending the hand of genuine cooperation to the people of Libya, respecting the country’s sovereignty and granting Tripoli the position it deserves in the Arab region, particularly as Libya has decided to be a rational state searching for stability, rather than a state based on ideologies and adventures. Therefore it is clear that Libya has chosen to distance itself from Qaddafi’s adventures and madness, and this is something that is worthy of celebration and respect.
n The author is editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat.