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How many deaths in Libya before the EU takes action?


28 Feb 2011


Global Europe

"Faced with the prospect of civil war and bloodshed on a large scale in Libya if Colonel Gaddafi sticks to his threat to kill all his opponents, European Union leaders must move swiftly from deliberation to decisive action, deploying the full array of the diplomatic and political arsenal to halt the killings", said Guy Verhofstadt today.

"So far the approach of the EU has been too hesitant whilst Italy has been more preoccupied by the prospects of a sudden rise in migrants than in bringing concerted pressure on the regime in Tripoli with which it pretends to have privileged relations."

"This is not time to adopt a 'wait and see' policy.  We must be shaping events, not just reacting to them. It is a crucial test for the EU's ambitions to forge a common and effective foreign policy. If we cannot forge a collective view on the humanitarian disaster unfolding on our southern borders, what hope is there for extending our influence across the globe?"

"Various EU Heads of State and Foreign Ministers have spoken out in disgust at the brutality of the Libyan regime's repression of the demonstrators.  Talk of asset freezes, travel bans, export licence revocations and other sanctions is fine but the EU must reach quick and universal agreement to introduce them immediately, regardless of what the US or others may decide subsequently."

"The EU should also take the lead in formally bringing Gaddafi to trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague if it is to be consistent with its rhetoric and values of defending human rights around the world."

For more information, please contact:
Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84


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