Qathafi speaks about democracy in New York seminar
Libya-USA, Politics, 3/24/2006
The Libyan leader Muammar al-Qathafi criticized what he called the backward societies in the Middle East, blaming this on the violent nature of the individuals of these societies as the reason behind the resort of the governments of this region and for the need of the government to deal in a tough manner with the political opposition.
Qathafi said during his participation via the video in a seminar about democracy organized by Colombia University in New York that the opposition in the Middle East is quite different from the opposition in other parts of the world, noting that this opposition resort to blowing up, acts of assassination and killing, in order to achieve its objectives.
The Libyan leader considered that the political and social mentality in the region failed to adapt with the tremendous changes took place in the world.
He indicated that even in the demonstrations deploring the prophet's cartoon in the countries of the region, the police used bullets and tear gas or even water as an expression of what he called the backward reaction which stems from a backward society to which police members affiliate.
The Libyan leader described himself as the hero for democracy and commended what he called the only rightful democracy in the world that is applied in his country.
Qathafi was asked about the achievement of his regime in the field of human rights and he stressed that all matters are subject to discussion in Libya.
Qathafi criticized the US for accusations of monitoring phone calls of its citizens and establishing a new state governed by fear. He said that human rights means to enjoy protection from the harassment of the government.
This dialogue with Qathafi concluded two days of discussions in Colombia university on the issue of "prospects for the sake of democracy" in Libya. It was the first large meeting convened in years between American and Libyan officials and university teachers.
Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) dean and cosponsor of the conference, Lisa Anderson, had said in the past, prior to the normalization of relation with the US, that Qathafi had used the Lockerbie sanctions, which have been lifted since, as an excuse to use for explaining a poorly run economy.
The Columbia University program said "Prompted by the thaw in US-Libyan relations under the administration of George W. Bush, the two-day program is designed to reintroduce Libya's academic community to the United States."
Tripoli and Washington restored their diplomatic relations in 2004, 6 months after Libya announced giving up intention to own mass destruction weapons programs.
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