Following today's historic declaration of liberation in Libya, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released statements congratulating the people of Libya. President Obama said:
"On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Libya on today's historic declaration of liberation. After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.
"Now that the fighting in Libya has reached an end, the Transitional National Council (TNC) must turn its attention to the political transition ahead. We look forward to working with the TNC and an empowered transitional government as they prepare for the country's first free and fair elections. The Libyan authorities should also continue living up to their commitments to respect human rights, begin a national reconciliation process, secure weapons and dangerous materials, and bring together armed groups under a unified civilian leadership. As they take these steps, the United States will continue our close cooperation with our international partners and the UN Support Mission in Libya to help advance a stable, democratic transition."
In her statement, Secretary Clinton said:
"The United States joins the Libyan people as they celebrate liberation from more than four decades of Qadhafi's brutal dictatorship. The Libyan revolution was the work of ordinary, brave Libyans who demanded their freedoms and dignity. The United States is proud to have supported them in those efforts and we are committed to their future.
"This is a historic moment, but much work remains to be done. The process of forming a new representative government that is accountable to its people must reflect the same spirit of the revolution and the Transitional National Council should work to announce this government as soon as possible. The transitional authorities can build on this movement by promoting reconciliation and respect for human rights across Libyan society, while helping to prevent reprisals and ensuring the justice and due process that the Libyan people expect and deserve.
"The path to democracy is a long-term process that requires the participation of all Libyans. Just as the Libyan people led the revolution, they will also lead the process of transition and government formation. The United States remains deeply committed to the Libyan people who can now look forward to a new era of freedom, dignity, and security."