Bulgarian Govt: Gaddafi's Death Means New Era for Libya

Diplomacy | October 20, 2011, Thursday // 18:12|  views

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mladenov hailed the capture of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The death of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has signaled a new era in the history of Libya, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov declared in a statement.

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for almost 42 years, was captured Thursday and shortly after that died of his wounds, while the Libyan rebel forces overwhelmed his last bastion and hometown Sirte.

"With the death of Muammar Gaddafi, a new era in the history of Libya has begun. I hope that the end of the former Libyan leader will herald the end of the suffering of the Libyan people and the beginning of a new era in which Libyan citizens are able to live without fear and humiliation in a united and prosperous country," Bulgaria's top diplomat declared Thursday night.

Mladenov urged the National Transitional Council and all Libyans "to redouble their efforts to achieve national reconciliation, to heal all the wounds and cope with trauma of Gaddafi's violent repression against his own people."

He further made clear Bulgaria's readiness, together with "the international democratic community", to assist the Libyan people in their "difficult path" to freedom and democracy.

In his statement, the Bulgarian Foreign Minister reminds the case of the Bulgarian medics sentenced to death and jailed in Libya in 1999-2007 in the notorious Libyan HIV trial, widely believed to have been fully orchestrated by Muammar Gaddafi.

"Twelve years ago, the dictator initiated a political trial against the Bulgarian nurses, subjecting them to torture and humiliation. In recent months, he was preparing a new trial against a Bulgarian doctor, but this time his brutal attempt was thwarted. Today Libya is free and its future is in the hands of the Libyan people," Mladenov stated.

He pointed out that over the years, hundreds of Bulgarians - doctors, engineers, nurses - shared their lives with the Libyan people. "Even in the worst moments of the final months of the regime, our fellow citizens worked in Tripoli, Benghazi, Libya and elsewhere, fulfilling their humanitarian duty," he added.

The statement of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister on Gaddafi's death, however, contains no mention of any steps that Bulgaria's government might undertake to achieve a recognition by the new Libyan authorities that the Bulgarian medics were not guilty, and were jailed and sentenced illegally by the Gaddafi dictatorship.

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Tags: Libya, Bulgarian medics, Nikolya Mladenov, Foreign Minister, Muammar Gaddafi, transitional National Council, rebels


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