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Muammar Gaddafi must relinquish power immediately

21 March 2011 News

Muammar Gaddafi must relinquish power immediately

Statement by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria

The regime of Muammar Gaddafi lost all legitimacy. It has used disproportionate military force against the Libyan people and cased the death of hundreds of Libyan citizens. For us in Bulgaria, the true character of the regime of Colonel Gaddafi has been visible for a number of years now.

Despite repeated calls from the international community, the regime refused to initiate reforms, dialogue or respond to just demands of the Libyan people. Instead, Colonel Gaddafi called those who want change, "rats" and "drug addicts" and continued to murder his own population. This is not just illegal, it is inhumane.

That is why the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973/2011. It gives a mandate to protect the Libyan people from attacks by the regime, creates conditions for the international control of the skies over Libya, and tightens the arms and economic embargo. Bulgaria welcomes the fast that the Resolution was supported by the League of Arab States. Their support is further evidence that the operation, which group of countries have begun in recent days is a legitimate, necessary and correct.

Now that the Gaddafi military machine is crippled, it is time for NATO to take command of the operation. We stand ready to participate in future NATO and EU missions that will ensure full implementation of Resolution 1973/2011. We are ready to participate in imposing the arms embargo through a naval blockade and providing humanitarian support.

The future of Libya is in the hands of the Libyan people. They need to reach agreement on how their state should be organized and governed in the future. Bulgaria believes that we can assist in this process.

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