Libya: Archbishop Appeals for Help to Build New Nation

Tripoli — The situation in Libya is not as grim on the ground as some media would have us believe. Most people there are going about their daily lives peacefully - that's the message from Mgr Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.

Archbishop Martinelli told Fides, "I am sorry to see that only negative news is spread concerning the Libyan situation. I continuously meet many Libyans who have a positive attitude and are confident about the future of their country.

"We need to spread positive news to inspire courage both to the Libyans and also to those outside, and would like to come here to provide their help.

For example, there are people of Caritas who would like to come to Libya to acknowledge the necessities of the needy, but were discouraged to come. I wonder why, given that ENI and AGIP technicians come to work here without any problems. Why can't Caritas staff come?"

He said that while the country was not ready for tourists, and there were "occasional skirmishes" generally the situation was quiet and peaceful.

"There is the problem of weapons, which are still in possession of the militia" Archbishop Martinelli observed, but he added: "The Libyan authorities are doing everything so that those who have weapons hand them over. It will take some time, but the effort is there".

"I wish that Libya was no longer associated, in the collective imagination, with terrorism and instability. Come and help us build the new Libya", concluded Mgr Martinelli.

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