Translation tools and Embed code available here.
BENGHAZI, LIBYA 5/20/2011 – Tunisia’s revolution earlier this year, which toppled longtime ruler Ben Ali, is widely considered to be the spark that started the “Arab Spring,” the widespread popular revolts across the Middle East and North Africa. Situated on Libya’s western border, Tunisian citizens have had long-standing relationships with their Libyan neighbors.
A Tunisian delegation representing the National Alliance for Peace and Prosperity, a nascent political party formed in the aftermath of the revolution, recently visited Benghazi. One of the first political entities to recognize Libya’s National Transitional Council, the Peace and Prosperity party came to Benghazi to announce new aid programs.
“We’ve come to Benghazi free Libya to give support to our Libya brothers,” said Aleksander Elrgaieg, head of the Peace and Prosperity party.
The delegation announced a number of new aid initiatives, including new support for the hospitals in Benghazi.
“We brought a medical envoy of 10 members,” said Elrgaieg. “Five of them will be working for a month in Benghazi, and more will be coming soon.”
The delegation’s goals are to expand ties with Benghazi’s new government, as well as building a “community of democracy in freedom” in North Africa.
“I would like to say to the Tunisian people and temporary government,” Elrgaieg said, “we must acknowledge the Libyan revolution and the NTC, and give them support and increase pressure on Gaddafi’s forces.”
Alive in Libya recently sat down with Elrgaieg to find out more about the Peace and Prosperity party, their aid initiatives, and their plans to forge ties with the new Libyan government.
The National Alliance for Peace and Prosperity calls on the Tunisian society’s various components to show vigilance, responsibility and patriotism, and to close ranks against the backward forces whose one and only goal is to torpedo the Revolution.
The party underscores the need to abide by the ethics governing relations between political parties and to arrive at a consensus on the imperative to carry out successfully the democratic transition.
Moammar Gadhafi’s troops fired Grad rockets over the border into Tunisia Tuesday, witnesses said. The Libyan leader’s troops also bombarded opposition forces controlling a key border crossing with the neighboring country, a rebel commander said.
The last time Libyan forces fired rockets into Tunisia, on May 17, the Tunisian government threatened to report Libya to the U.N. Security Council for committing “enemy actions.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States recognizes Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) as “the legitimate interlocutor for the Libyan people,” and is offering its support to the group to help ensure “an inclusive process” when Libya transitions from Muammar Qadhafi’s regime.
Speaking in Abu Dhabi June 9, Clinton said the TNC “is the institution through which we are engaging the Libyan people alongside our work with civil society,” and that the United States wants to see “Libyans coming together to plan their own future and a permanent inclusive constitutional system that will protect the rights of all Libyans.”