France could release 230 mln euros of Libyan assets: Juppe
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday that France could "very soon" release 230 million euros of the previous regime's frozen assets to the Libyan central bank.
Juppe, who arrived in Tripoli for a two-day visit, also said it was up to the Libyan people to decide what kind of democracy they want.
"It (France) has already taken a decision to unfreeze the funds," Juppe said at a press conference with Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib.
"I confirmed to the prime minister that unfreezing of 230 million euros ($300 million) could happen very soon for the benefit of the Libyan central bank," he said, adding that Paris was working at the UN Security Council to release billions of dollars in assets still frozen.
Libyan leaders have regularly called upon world powers to release these assets to meet the daily needs of the government, including for salaries, and to kick-start reconstruction activities across a country severely devastated by the conflict that ousted long-time leader Moamer Kadhafi.
Meanwhile, Juppe said that it was up to the Libyans only to decide the kind of democracy they wanted.
"It is upon the Libyan people and the Libyan people alone to choose their future, to build democracy as they conceive it and to choose their priorities," he said after talks with Kib.
Western nations have raised concerns after Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the ruling National Transitional Council, said in a speech at the October 23 liberation day rally that Islamic sharia law will be the main law in the new Libya.
After that, France and the European Union called for respect for human rights in Libya.
Shortly after his speech, Jalil tried to assure the international community by saying that Libyans were "moderate Muslims."
© 2011 AFP