- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2009

We wish to set the record straight concerning your recent article on Libya’s future (“Gadhafi marks 40th year with succession unclear,” Plugged in, April 9), which contained several factual errors.

First, the article misrepresents Libya’s role and actions at the Arab League summit held recently in Doha, Qatar. The summit’s proceedings and lively debates, which were televised live, surely were not acrimonious. The Arab League operates by consensus of its constituent states. It adopted the decision that Libya would host next year’s summit in Tripoli, a testament to the good relations Libya enjoys with its neighbors and the ultimate unity of the league in this view.

Second, Libya’s decision to end its history of confrontation with the West - which included giving up its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs and liberalizing its economy - was not driven by concerns of succession. To the contrary, it came as a result of extensive internal debate on the best methods to utilize our resources more efficiently. Libya noted the changing world and chose to change with it.

Finally, debate over Libya’s succession plans seems to take place only in the West. Libya’s system of government - which is manifested in popular representation and direct democracy - ensures our future stability, durability and continued reform. In Libya, the people rule.

ALI AUJALI



Libyan ambassador to the United States

Washington

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