Libya: "Examine political and economic support"

The Belgian Foreign Minister, Steven Vanackere (Flemish Christian democrat), has spoken out in favour of supporting the democratic forces in Libya. Mr Vanackere was speaking after rebel forces entered the capital Tripoli.

The Belgian Foreign Minister believes that the possibility of providing political and economic aid needs to be examined.

Mr Vanackere said that in the short term no immediate end to the bloodletting was assured, but he insisted that rebel forces had the responsibility to prevent this from happening. As for the long term the Belgian Foreign Minister warned that the country had not been a democracy for four decades and that the euphoria of the liberation from the Gaddafi regime could make way for new conflicts.

Speaking in his own name Mr Vanackere said that he favoured the continuation of economic and political support: "If Col Gaddafi is removed from power the UN must examine whether military intervention is still needed."

The Belgian Foreign Minister also issued a warning saying that the removal of the dictatorship did not mean that there would be work for all tomorrow: "When people realise that change will not happen immediately, they may become dissatisfied. In this way populism could take hold of the revolution. This is why the EU remains closely involved in events in Libya."

Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat) earlier said that Belgium remained prepared for military action in the Libyan theatre.