ISTANBUL, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from dozens of countries and organizations started a meeting on Libya here on Friday in a bid to put more pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave power.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and officials from 32 countries attended the meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Ciragan Hotel, Istanbul.
The one-day meeting is also attended by representatives from seven international organizations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and the Arab League, as well as the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council (NTC).
The meeting began with remarks by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who said that "it is time for us to move into the conflict resolution phase. We should increase pressure on the Libyan regime."
Turkey put forward a "roadmap" for a political solution, which envisages an immediate ceasefire before the commencement of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Aug. 1 in the first phase, and Gaddafi relinquishing power and a peaceful transition of the power to the NTC in the next phase.
Increasing financial aid to the Libyan rebels will also be up for discussion. The use of frozen Libyan assets to help the rebels while remaining within the UN mandate will feature high on the agenda.
"Cash for the National Transitional Council is urgently needed before Ramadan begins. We want to use three billion U.S. dollars from the frozen Libyan assets to give the NTC," Davutoglu said.
"International sanctions are now hurting the Libyan people," he said, noting that "a credible international process for Libya is key. It is vital for the integrity and unity of Libya."
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said at the meeting that "we have to increase the pressure on Gaddafi so that he leaves. His remaining in power creates more instability."
"We need a clear roadmap for the future of Libya. The international community should shoulder their responsibility to protect the Libyan public and to meet their humanitarian need," he added.
A total of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars was earmarked for the rebels during the Libya Contact Group meeting in the UAE last month.
The UAE foreign minister said his country had created a fund in Abu Dhabi to support the Libyan people. "The UAE will establish an office in Benghazi. We all want to see a new, democratic and unified Libya and the NTC has a big role to play in this."
The Libya Contact Group was established at the London Conference on March 29 to provide political guidance for the endeavors of the international community with a view to resolving the crisis in Libya.
The Libya Contact Group has previously convened in Qatar, Italy and the UAE.
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