Uutinen 13.4.2011

Foreign Minister Stubb: An important week with regard to Libya

Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. Photo: Lehtikuva/AFP Photo, Georges Gobet.Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb attended the EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Tuesday, where the situation in Libya rose to be the most followed topic. “Gaddafi must understand that he is not part of the solution, but that he must go,” Foreign Minister Stubb said, condensing the acute political situation. “A difficult international operation is in progress, which is quite different to that in Tunisia or Egypt, where the leaders themselves relinquished power rather quickly,” the Foreign Minister continued.

According to Foreign Minister Stubb, the current week is, in many ways, highly important with regard to the situation in Libya. “We have now discussed Libya from the EU’s perspective, next is the meeting in Qatar and the NATO meeting on Thursday and Friday. Nor should we forget that EU High Representative Catherine Ashton is travelling to Cairo,” Foreign Minister Stubb said, listing the week’s negotiations on Libya to Finnish and foreign journalists gathered in Luxembourg.

Foreign Minister mentioned four pivotal factors with regard to Libya. “The international military pressure maintained by NATO is important. Second, the sanctions have an effective impact on the Gaddafi administration, for example through the long queues for petrol. Third, the EU should prepare the political process for the post-Gaddafi period. Fourth, the EU is, in various ways, planning the implementation of a EUFOR Libya operation in order to secure humanitarian aid, but the implementation phase will be topical only at the request of OCHA, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,” Stubb explained.

Foreign Minister Stubb did not consider it likely that OCHA would present a request quickly. “However, planning is continuing in the EU all the time,” said the Foreign Minister, who had just returned from Washington where he had met with American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Additional information: Jori Arvonen, Senior Political Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 50 553 6117, Press Counsellor Jussi Seppälä, mobile tel. +32 476 950547