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Published on March 6, 2014
Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Rome, March 6, 2014

This is an important conference on the situation in Libya. The situation in Libya is very worrying because security is very poor, there are terrorist acts and risks of terrorism, particularly in the south of the country, and also because the political situation is unstable. The purpose of this conference – which for the first time has brought together a huge number of countries, and countries which hitherto weren’t involved: I’m thinking of Russia and China – is to support Libya.

What I see is action on two levels. Firstly action at political level: we’re asking the Libyans to talk to each other and find a stable solution. The United Nations envoy in particular, who is an absolutely remarkable person, must contribute to this. We also want to act on the security level. Many countries are at Libya’s service to help on the security level; this is true in particular of France and Germany; we’ve decided to carry out joint action, in particular to protect arms depots which have been taken over and must absolutely be protected, because it’s not worth seizing weapons which are there only for those arms depots to be recaptured by other, terrorist groups.

As you know, France is very close to Libya; whenever I see the Libyan authorities they tell me: France saved us, France helped us. But now the situation is very complicated, and so this international conference, which follows the Paris conference that got things moving, I think, is something useful, and the fact that it’s had such huge coverage is encouraging./.