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EESC president's statement on Libya given at the EESC plenary session on 15 March 2011

Following the natural disaster of unprecedented proportions that has hit Japan, it would be all too easy for us to shift our focus away from current events in Libya.

The fact that this country's leader, who claims to be loved by his people, is bombing his own citizens and is ordering the armed forces to open fire on their compatriots underscores this dictator’s true nature. 

It is regrettable that the international community, through the UN, has not yet taken the decision to act. The present circumstances in Libya strengthen the case for international intervention to be decided quickly.

The EU's response to the crisis in North Africa has been awkward and tardy.

The events in Libya must be condemned. The Libyan dictator has no legitimacy and he must be held legally responsible. We must demand that our political representatives take all action that is necessary to stop this bloodbath.

We must express our solidarity with the Libyan people and give them our full and strong support.