Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns led the U.S. delegation to the August 25 Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul, where representatives from 28 countries, the UN, EU, NATO, AU, OIC, Arab League and GCC came together to demonstrate the international community's firm commitment to supporting the Libyan people at this truly historic time. Today's meeting was characterized by an upbeat spirit and recognition of what our combined efforts have helped to achieve. Meeting participants recognized the considerable work that lies ahead, but reaffirmed the international community's resolve to enhanced coordination during this transitional period. Delegations underscored the urgent financial needs of the TNC and called for an expedited process to unfreeze Libyan assets. Arab participants also previewed the Arab League's seating of the TNC expected at the August 27 Arab League gathering. Participants, including the TNC delegation, emphasized the need for reconciliation, respect for human rights, and justice, not retribution. There was also a collective affirmation of the need for Libya's transition to be Libyan-led, with close coordination between the TNC and international partners. Participants looked forward to the high-level meeting in Paris next week.
On the margins of the Contact Group meeting, Deputy Secretary Burns also met today with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu and Under Secretary Sinirlioglu to continue our close collaboration on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.