For Immediate Release
Regarding a Non-Violent Conclusion to the Events in Libya
WASHINGTON - The Guardian newspaper recently reported that it found communications between me and an intermediary regarding a possible visit to Libya.
From the beginning of the conflict, I have led the effort in challenging the Obama Administration’s war in Libya and to seeking a just, peaceful resolution to the conflict. My opposition to the war has been well-known, including through a number of pieces published in The Guardian.
In my efforts to end the war, I have been contacted by many parties – including members of the Gaddafi regime and some with ties to the rebels. Reaching a just and peaceful solution requires listening to all sides.
It has been evident to me from the start that a peaceful resolution of the conflict was possible if that is what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its member nations wanted. In June, I proposed my own peace plan derived in part from the efforts of the African Union that called for an immediate ceasefire and which puts forth the principles necessary to create a framework to achieve reconciliation and national unity in Libya through a meaningful process.
During my communication with parties to the conflict, I made it clear that I could not negotiate on behalf of the Administration, but that I was ready to listen and to communicate to Members of Congress ideas for how the conflicts could be resolved peacefully. I also notified Administration officials of what was communicated to me on several occasions.
As we reach almost a half a year in Libya, we know that the use of force and ultimatums that neither side will accept will not end the bloodshed or bring about a just political settlement. As a strong proponent of the use of diplomacy instead of the use of military force, I believe it is my obligation and my right to participate in speech and debate over these critical matters.