Friday, September 2, 2011

‘Friends’ gather in Paris to plan future of oil-rich Libya

Delegations from 60 countries are attending Thursday’s “Friends of Libya” conference in Paris to discuss the oil-rich North African nation’s future in the post-Muammar Gaddafi era.

Alongside the political and economic agenda for rebuilding the nation after the devastating conflict, all attending nations will be jostling for the rich rewards that Libya’s numerous oil contracts have to offer.

Bearing this in mind, not all the countries attending Thursday’s conference sanctioned NATO’s military support, which was pivotal in helping Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) unseat Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after 41 years in power.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the first world leader to recognise the NTC as the legitimate authority in Libya, in holding the conference in Paris has given the NTC its first global platform to address the world. Sarkozy and the other world leaders are keen to avoid the mistakes made in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

FRANCE 24 spoke with Pierre Vermeren, a specialist in modern North African History at the Sorbonne University in Paris, for an insight into the possible winners and losers of Thursday’s conference. more