Germany hopes for new era of peace, democracy in Libya

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday the death of Libya's former strongman Moamer Kadhafi cleared the way for a new, peaceful, political start, urging the country to move swiftly towards democracy.

"The way is now finally free for a political new beginning, in peace. Germany is relieved and very happy about that," Merkel said in a written statement.

Describing it as an "important day" for Libyans, she said: "With this, a bloody war comes to an end, which Kadhafi led against his own people."

"Libya must now quickly take further resolute steps towards democracy and make the achievments so far of the Arab Spring irreversible," she added.

Germany would support Libya on its path to democracy, rule of law and national reconciliation, she said.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also said after decades of dictatorship, Germany hoped the people of Libya could open "a new, peaceful and democratic chapter for their country".

"We hope that a new era is starting for Libya. We stand by the new Libya on the path to a better, more peaceful and more democratic future," he added.

Wounded Libyan fighters this week began receiving hospital treatment in Germany, which declined to fight alongside its allies against Kadhafi.

© 2011 AFP

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