EU to Hold Tripoli Ceasefire Violators Accountable

EU to Hold Tripoli Ceasefire Violators Accountable

Friday, 14 September, 2018 - 09:30
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj with Chargé d’Affaires for the US Department of State's Libya External Office (Presidential Council)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
The US administration and the European Union are fully supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli against the 7th Brigade, one of the rival militias to accept a cease-fire truce, despite European threats to hold anyone accountable in case of violation again.

Meanwhile, France and Italy are still debating over the possibility of holding parliamentary and presidential elections before the end of this year, coinciding with the imposition of UN Security Council and US sanctions on former leader of the Petroleum Facilities Guard Ibrahim al-Jadhran.

On Thursday, head of GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj met with Charge d’Affaires for the US Department of State's Libya External Office, Donald Blome, and AFRICOM Commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser to discuss the security situation in Tripoli and US-Libya cooperation.

US officials asserted their support of efforts to achieve lasting stability in Libya through the UN Action Plan and reaffirmed support to GNA.

Discussion centered on GNA efforts to restore public security as outlined in the UN-brokered ceasefire and new measures to improve economic conditions for all Libyans through the economic reforms announced on September 12.

They commended the GNA for its response to the ISIS attack on the National Oil Corporation on September 10, and both sides agreed on the importance of close and continued engagement to ensure that sovereign state institutions are able to fulfill their mandate on behalf of all Libyans.

Meanwhile, EU issued a statement on Thursday warning that any violation of the ceasefire, such as the rocket attacks against Maitiga airport, as well as inflammatory statements that may lead to more violence, are unacceptable. Furthermore, attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure constitute violations of international law.

“Now is the time for real change – ending predation of Libyan resources and a climate of fear and at last guaranteeing the Libyan people the basic services and individual freedoms they aspire to. The terrorist attack on 10 September against the Headquarters of the National Oil Corporation, a vital institution for the Libyan people, further highlighted the urgency for all Libyan parties to come together and overcome this spiral of violence and daily deprivation,” read the statement.

The statement asserted that EU and its Member States will remain tireless partners in building Libya’s stability through democratically elected institutions, accountable security bodies, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, and transparent management of national wealth.

“We reaffirm our strong and continued support to the United Nations action plan to advance the political process. We will also continue to support the Libyan people, in particular the most vulnerable, through humanitarian aid and development projects across Libya in partnership with Libyan authorities, UN agencies and civil society,” concluded the EU.

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said on Wednesday his country strongly disagrees with French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for early elections in December.

Media outlets reported that Milanesi told the parliamentary foreign committees that Italy disagrees with the French government, “which is still pushing for Libya to hold elections on December 10.”

The set date must be “reconsidered” until conditions are in place for free, fair and peaceful elections, he continued, adding that he did not wish to “quarrel with France” and that he and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian shared “some common ground” on the Libyan crisis.

The FM also announced that Italy wants to organise a conference on Libya in Sicily in the first half of November. He explained Rome wanted to set up the conference there "symbolically", in a "land that means to symbolism the hand outstretched over the Mediterranean".

In other news, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) welcomed on Wednesday the decision of the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Ibrahim Jathran.

UNSC on Tuesday decided to impose sanctions on Jathran, which include travel ban and freezing of assets.

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