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Speech by Libyan Crown Prince Mohammed El Senussi on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of Libyan Independence

English translation

24th December 2023

“Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings. My sisters and brothers, fellow Libyan citizens,

We gather every year on this day to commemorate the birth of our nation. 72 years ago today, our fathers and forefathers, under King Idris I’s leadership, completed their struggle to mark the beginning of Libya’s modern political history. 

They set an extraordinary example of patriotism, dedication and loyalty, establishing a democratic state with much hope and promise for the future. 

Despite limited resources, they laid the foundation for numerous institutions – military, educational, health, and economic – which over the many decades that followed, produced hundreds of thousands of professionals and experts, contributing to our nation’s development to this day.

However, in recent years, we have been warning of the dangers facing our country, and the conspiracies from domestic and international actors that covet our nation’s wealth. Yet, even in our nation’s darkest moments, plagued by power struggles and conflict, destruction and corruption, we have kept the flames of hope alive.

Our unwavering hope is that with our collective efforts, our country’s splendor and glory will be restored, as befits this magnificent land, its noble people with a rich history. This hope for a brighter future is not shared by our enemies or those coveting our wealth. But it is this hope that can restore unity and consensus, tragically lost amidst the continuing conflicts.

This is a new hope that has emerged, because, across the entire nation, we have come to realize that it is impossible to agree a successful way forward to manage our country’s affairs if we do not change our path.  

There is no path forward unless it is based on a sound constitutional framework with well-functioning institutions that represent the people’s true will.

Driven by this conclusion, with a sense of duty and trust, we strive, with determination and support from Almighty God, to heal our wounds, to reconcile our divisions and to reach a national consensus without waiting for others to bring us together. 

Therefore, in recent months, we have launched a National Dialogue – a series of consultations and discussions with all segments of our society, without exceptions or conditions, other than the sole objective of securing our country and its people’s best interests.

God willing, we will continue and intensify this National Dialogue on the ground in Libya, among our people and across the nation, to ensure participation from all segments of Libyan society.

The aim is not to restore a regime, not to reclaim a throne, nor to protect the interests of a few at the expense of the many. Instead, this National Dialogue aims to reach consensus on a single truth: that our salvation lies in a united people with a shared goal. 

Before it fragments and fades away, we aim to elevate our nation to a constitutional path that not only serves as a unifying umbrella for our nation, but also provides the institutional framework that respects the people’s will.

In this journey, we rely on Almighty God, seeking His pleasure, and on our Libyan brothers and sisters. We welcome help and support from our international friends, partners and organizations, but ask them neither to interfere in our affairs, nor try to dictate our steps. 

As we strive to make our country a haven of stability, it is also important for us that the extended region, especially across the North African coast, remains stable. We hope to contribute, as our fathers and forefathers did, to ending the suffering and wars across the region. We cannot achieve stability in our country without contributing to the stability of this important region of the world.

My sisters and brothers, fellow citizens, I hope that the occasion we celebrate today remains an annual event, not only to celebrate the independence achieved in 1951, but also to celebrate this day of renewed hope for our beloved country. 

A day remembered for inspiring us all to remove the despair from our hearts and fill them instead with the hope for our nation’s salvation. 

The hope that with our combined efforts we will soon emerge again at the forefront of nations, with our people among the happiest, and a future for our sons and daughters that delivers on their dreams. May God protect Libya.”