In Libya, a focus on reconciliation

Tom Heneghan of Reuters has some hopeful news:

When the officials guiding Libya’s post-Gaddafi transition list their most urgent tasks, they talk about supplying water, paying salaries or exporting oil, and then add something quite different — fostering reconciliation. The focus on forgiveness might have seemed out of place at meetings in Paris on Thursday and Friday where world leaders and Libya’s new administration discussed problems of democracy, investment and the unblocking of Libyan funds held abroad.

But the example of Iraq, which plunged into chaos and bloody strife after the United States-led invasion in 2003, convinced the Libyans planning the transition from dictatorship and war that the country’s needs were more than just material.

“You cannot build a country if you don’t have reconciliation and forgiveness,” said Aref Ali Nayed, head of the stabilization team of the National Transitional Council (NTC). “Reconciliation has been a consistent message from our president and prime minister on, down to our religious leaders and local councils,” he told Reuters in an interview.

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