The United States congratulates Chairman Jalil, Prime Minister al-Keeb, and all the people of Libya on the first anniversary of their historic revolution. Last February, few could imagine that the peaceful protesters in cities from Benghazi to Tripoli would bring down a four-decade-old dictatorship. Through their courage and great sacrifice, and with the support of the United States and an international coalition, the Libyan people defeated a brutal regime and won their freedom.
Today the Libyan people are enjoying new liberties, expressing themselves freely, debating new laws, joining civil society organizations, and preparing for the first free and fair elections in the country’s history. Libya’s natural wealth can finally be invested in the people’s future. Libya’s emerging democracy and its institutions will take time to build, and the United States stands ready to assist the Libyan people as they shape their future. The Transitional National Council and government should take full advantage of this historic moment by making decisions openly and transparently. The revolutionaries who fought so hard for liberty now have a responsibility to protect their freedoms by working with the government to establish stability, peace, and reconciliation. Protecting the rights of all the Libyan people will help preserve the unity of purpose that defined the revolution.
We will never forget the voices, images, and sacrifices that we have seen in Libya over the last year, and we are grateful to the American service-members and civilians who helped save lives and stand up to tyranny. The United States was proud to support the Libyan people in their revolution last year, and looks forward to building a close friendship with a free Libya in the years to come.