Marylanders in Congress urge democracy in Libya
Maryland’s representatives in Washington spoke Thursday of a new era in Libya, and urged the rebels who overthrew Moammar Gadhafi to continue working with their international supporters on the transition to democracy.
“The Libyan people now have the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their families,” Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Baltimore County, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. “The Transitional National Council (TNC), with support from the international community, can now focus its efforts toward promoting democracy, freedom and human rights for all Libyans with a unity government, so the will of the Libyan people can be expressed.
“The international community looks forward to a peaceful transition and free and fair elections in Libya.”
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Southern Maryland, the No.2 Democrat in the House, expressed hope that the death of Gadhafi signals “a return to peace in Libya.”
“I join in encouraging the National Transitional Council to continue working with the international community to build free institutions and provide for the safety and well-being of its people,” Hoyer said.
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, described the death of Gadhafi as “positive news for the people of Libya, for America, and for the international community.
“For decades, Qaddafi persecuted all opponents to his regime and controlled the Libyan people with brutality and violence,” Cardin said. “His open defiance of the will of his own people and their desire for freedom, and his rebuff of the international community, made it predictable that he would not survive this latest chapter.”
The Maryland Democrat, who also co-chairs the Helsinki Commission, said the United States “is prepared to be a part of the international support needed to help the new Libyan government rebuild their country and to be a good neighbor.
“A new Libya needs to join the international community in a way that brings stability to the region, including removing from the region some of their most dangerous weapons,” Cardin said.
Hoyer underscored the international cooperation that led to the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime.
“NATO’s coordinated response, in which the United States played a central role, was instrumental in preventing widespread violence against Libyan civilians and demonstrates the importance of working together with our overseas partners to address humanitarian and security threats.”