“There is no assertion anywhere in the document that Libya is an “Arab state”, and this omission cannot be anything but deliberate.
This week the Libyan National Transitional Council issued its “Draft Constitutional Charter” – a sort of provisional constitution for the country in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Gaddafi.
The Project on Middle East Democracy lists some of its specific provisions here, but a more revealing exercise is to compare and contrast the NTC’s document with the Libyan constitution issued in 1969, shortly after Gaddafi’s revolution.
Article 1 of the 1969 constitution says:
“Libya is an Arab, democratic, and free republic in which sovereignty is vested in the people. The Libyan people are part of the Arab nation. Their goal is total Arab unity. The Libyan territory is a part of Africa. The name of the country is the Libyan Arab Republic.”
Article 1 of the NTC’s draft begins:
“Libya is an independent democratic state wherein the people are the source of authorities …”