Category Archives: Crisis

Al-Sarraj visits EU institutions

Today in Brussels the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell met with Fayez al-Sarraj, and Mohamed Taha Siala  in two separate meetings, addressing them as the “Prime Minister” and the “Minister of Foreign Affaris” of Libya.

The first meeting was hosted by the President of the European Council Charles Michel (pictured)  a separate meeting was held jointly with the Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas.

They discussed the latest developments in Libya and the need to immediately cease the hostilities and return to political negotiations under UN leadership. Josep Borrell reiterated that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and further military action will have “catastrophic consequences for the Libyan population and for the whole region”. He underlined that in order to find a solution to the situation, all sides will need to sit around the table and have a “genuine political dialogue”.

Following Minister Maas’ debrief on the Berlin process, Borrell also expressed the EU’s readiness to mobilize the required tools and resources to guarantee the full implementation of practical measures to ensure a sustainable ceasefire and accompany the political process. He confirmed the EU’s readiness to engage with all sides to find a way forward.

The Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts put the needs of all Libyans to the forefront and suggest sustainable solutions to core issues such as unifying institutions, distributing the country’s wealth equitably, and outlining a realistic roadmap towards a political settlement. It also aims at ensuring the buy in of all international players to put an end to external interference which will only exacerbate further the conflict.

Today’s meetings follow a meeting of the High Representative/Vice-President with the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy and the UK on 7 January in Brussels and is part of the EU’s active engagement with all actors. Further meetings, including an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Friday 10 January, are foreseen in the coming days.

Libya crisis: Borrell hints on Turkey

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell pointed at deterioration of security situation in Libya as the major obstacle of going for direct talks in Maghreb country.

“… Heiko Maas, Luigi Di Maio, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Dominic Raab, and myself, we have not travelled to Libya as expected due to the security situation there. We were strongly advised not to do this travel” Borrell said to Brussels press after the emergency meeting with the Foreign affairs ministers of Germany, France, Italy, and the UK.

The diplomat confirmed the priority status of Libya for the European Union foreign policy, and the determination to engage in talks with “all relevant actors” to stop the deterioration of the security situation, aggravated by hostilities. He confirmed the readiness for inclusive communication “across all the actors in Libyan process” with both Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar. He also underlined there is no military solution for the ongoing crisis.

“Any escalation and also any outside interference will only make the conflict more protracted, bring more misery to ordinary people in Libya, exacerbate divisions in the country, increase the risk of its partition, spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism” Borrell said.

Restoring operational elements to the Sophia naval mission has never been abandoned, and will be considered with the purpose among others to ensure surveillance of arms embargo, Borrell continued, underlining that the European diplomats called for strict respect of the UN resolution (2173) to built further Berlin Process, led by Germany to find lasting solution for Libyan crisis.

“I have not said that very explicitly but it is clear, to someone who wants to understand, that when I am talking about these “increased external interferences” I am making a reference to the interference of Turkey Josep Borrell explained. However Ankara has been not mentioned explicitly in the issued by the four foreign ministers statement on Libya, neither the EU diplomat make a direct call to President Erdogan to end his recent ongoing military operation.

Libya: EU promotes Berlin process

“Confronted with the worrying recent military escalation in Libya and also in view of the Foreign Affairs Council scheduled for Friday 10th January, we met in Brussels today to reaffirm our commitment to immediately halt the fighting around Tripoli and elsewhere and to discuss how the EU can further contribute to the UN mediation and to a swift return to political negotiations;” reads texts of the Joint Statement by the High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, issued today on January 7, 2020 in Brussels

https://twitter.com/eu_eeas/status/1214576639167873024?s=21

“The EU is of the firm conviction that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and that a protracted conflict will only bring more misery to ordinary people, exacerbate divisions, increase the risk of partition, spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism. An immediate cessation of hostilities is therefore crucial.

“All the members of the international community need to strictly respect and enforce the UN arms embargo. Continuing outside interference is fuelling the crisis. The more the Libyan warrying parties rely on foreign military assistance, the more they give external actors undue influence on sovereign Libyan decisions, to the detriment of the country’s national interests and of regional stability.

“In particular, we stressed the necessity to avoid unilateral actions such as the signing of agreements which further exacerbate the conflict or actions which create a pretext for external interference that are contrary to the interests of the Libyan people, as well as to European interests, as underlined by the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019.

“On the contrary, the Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts put the needs of all Libyans to the forefront and suggest sustainable solutions to core issues such as unifying institutions, distributing the country’s wealth equitably, and outlining a realistic roadmap towards a political settlement.

“We urge all Libyan parties to sincerely embrace these UN-led efforts and to return to negotiations. The EU will continue to support the UN mediation and will help implementing any decisions that may be taken in Berlin.”

Borrell hosts Libya meeting

The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell and the foreign ministers of Italy, France, Germany and the UK will gather on January 7 in the afternoon in Brussels to discuss escalation of hositilites Libya, the spokesman confirmed. 

https://twitter.com/annavandensky/status/1214519745539653637?s=21

The EU reteintes the calls for cessation of violence, and confrontation between different groups in Libya.

“On Tuesday 7 January, the High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, will meet in Brussels with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Mr Heiko Maas, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Mr Luigi Di Maio and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Mr Dominic Raab, to discuss the situation in Libya. 

“The High Representative/Vice-President will address the press at approximately 15:30 (Brussels time) in the European External Action Service building” the EEAS communication service confirmed.

AMENDED: Josep Borrell statement after the meeting:

“Confronted with the worrying recent military escalation in Libya and also in view of the Foreign Affairs Council scheduled for Friday 10th January, we met in Brussels today to reaffirm our commitment to immediately halt the fighting around Tripoli and elsewhere and to discuss how the EU can further contribute to the UN mediation and to a swift return to political negotiations.

“The EU is of the firm conviction that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and that a protracted conflict will only bring more misery to ordinary people, exacerbate divisions, increase the risk of partition, spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism. An immediate cessation of hostilities is therefore crucial.

All the members of the international community need to strictly respect and enforce the UN arms embargo. Continuing outside interference is fuelling the crisis. The more the Libyan warrying parties rely on foreign military assistance, the more they give external actors undue influence on sovereign Libyan decisions, to the detriment of the country’s national interests and of regional stability.

In particular, we stressed the necessity to avoid unilateral actions such as the signing of agreements which further exacerbate the conflict or actions which create a pretext for external interference that are contrary to the interests of the Libyan people, as well as to European interests, as underlined by the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019.

On the contrary, the Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts put the needs of all Libyans to the forefront and suggest sustainable solutions to core issues such as unifying institutions, distributing the country’s wealth equitably, and outlining a realistic roadmap towards a political settlement.

We urge all Libyan parties to sincerely embrace these UN-led efforts and to return to negotiations. The EU will continue to support the UN mediation and will help implementing any decisions that may be taken in Berlin.

Libya rejects Turkey invasion

LIBYA CORRESPONDENT Tripoli, 6th January 2020 -The US Embassy in Libya has released a statement warning of the dangers of “toxic” foreign interference in Libya, such as the arrival of Syrian fighters supported by Turkey. The Embassy appealed to all Libyan parties to end this dangerous involvement of foreign forces, which is contributing to civilian casualties and damaging civilian infrastructure of all Libyans. From April 4th, 2019 the Libyan National Army (LNA), under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, started military operations to free the Libyan capital Tripoli from criminal militias and terrorists supported by the Government of National Accord (GNA) represented by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

With two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) on military cooperation and maritime area jurisdiction, signed in Ankara on 27 November 2019 by Serraj and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Libyan government authorized the Turkish invasion and sold the resources of Libyan people in exchange of logistical and military support from Ankara. According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ reports, Turkey has already sent over 1000 Syrian fighters and extremists against the LNA to Libya from Syria. After presenting itself as democratic for years, the Government of Fayez al-Serraj has publicly showed its affiliation to Muslim Brotherhood and close collaboration with extremist groups such as Daesh, al-Qaeda and the officially dissolved Ansar al-Sharia, which has used to carry out attacks across the country in an attempt to assert its own territorial legitimacy. In fact, it is known that the majority of the Tripoli-based government cabinet members belongs to the militant group of the Brotherhood. In past years Fayez al-Serraj has replaced all key figures and heads of state-owned companies’ boards with Brotherhood leaders, including the Post and Telecommunication Authority, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Central Bank (CBL).
Al-Serraj publicly allying with Turkey threatens the security of the region and in particular of the European Union. After the first weeks of military operations, the Libyan premier had threatened Europe to send 800,000 migrants currently detained to detention centres run by its armed militias. Since early June, following the failure to respond to the request for weapons from Europe, landings on the Italian, Greek and Maltese coasts from Libya have increased significantly. Interpol warned member States of the risk of jihadist infiltrations among migrants arriving from the Libyan west coast. Erdogan is blackmailing Europe’s security by transporting terrorists from Syria to Libya, which is close to European countries. In fact, it is not possible to determine what will be of these Syrian rebels in the short and long term. A real risk if we consider that those responsible for the major attacks on European soil were coming from or directly connected to Libya, including Salman Obeidi, author of the bomb attack in Manchester arena.
Libyans have the right to reject Turkish interference in their country’s internal affairs. Field Marshal Haftar launched an appeal to the Nation last Friday for all Libyans to arm themselves in response to sending Turkish troops to Libya in support of the Tripoli government. “We accept the challenge and declare jihad and a call to arms, men and women, soldiers and civilians, to defend our land and our dignity”. He said in a television speech. Local councils, cities and tribes took to the streets to say no to the Turkish invasion. The councils of the Werfalla, Tuareg, al-Hasnawnah and Gadadfa tribes said they were ready to fight to reject Erdogan’s Ottoman neo-colonialism. Even Aisha al-Gaddafi, daughter of former Libyan leader sent after years of silence a message to her people: “When Turkish shoes contaminate my country for which our martyrs have shed their blood, if there is nobody among you to repel this aggression, leave the scene to Libya’s thirst. I will be in the front row. Look at your people, there are no more excuses”.

EU calls Libyan to cease military actions

“In the light of the ongoing escalations in Libya, especially around Tripoli, the European Union reiterates its call on all Libyan parties to cease all military actions and resume the political dialogue. There is no military solution to the crisis in Libya. The only way to settle it must be a political one, negotiated on the basis of the proposals recently put forward by the United Nations” reads the statement of European External Action Service press person.

“All members of the international community should observe and respect the UN arms embargo. The EU strongly supports the efforts of United Nations Special Representative Ghassan Salamé and the Berlin process, as the only avenue towards relaunching the Libyan political process and to rebuild a peaceful, stable and secure Libya.

“All participants to the Berlin process should engage constructively in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, that preserves Libyan sovereignty and is negotiated in the interest of all Libyans. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell, is committed to reinforce EU’s diplomatic efforts in this regard and to continue reaching out to international partners.”

Burkina-Faso suffers «dramatic deterioration»

“In recent months we have seen continued and dramatic deterioration of the security situation in Burkina Faso”, said EU top diplomat Josep Borrell in the debate with Members of European Parliament durring December Plenary.

“I was reading more figures like the ones you have been mentioning. 700 victims this year, 500 just since the summer. Multiple attacks of various kind against armed forces, security forces, civilians, villages, schools. It makes 600, almost 700 000 people displaced. The situations puts the level of food crisis very high. These people need assistance and basic social services. More than 1 million people are in need of emergency food assistance. This summer the country recorded more than 2000 schools closed. It means more than 300 000 children outside of school. Almost 10 000 teachers affected, several of them have been killed during this year.

“The situation is weakening the central authorities while the next presidential election is already approaching and considering that the authorities started to be criticized, [on] their crisis management.

Burkina Faso is a strong partner for us. And despite the fact that some difficulties appeared recently concerning the crisis assessment, I think we have to be more present and more engaged in this area.

“In fact, the Christians represent about 25 per cent of the population. It is often seen as an example of peaceful religious coexistence but it is clear that the terrorist groups want to undermine this interfaith coexistence, as part of a broader strategy to foment interethnic and religious conflicts and generate continuous displacement of the population. They attack communities that they consider as enemies, but also those Muslims that are considered by jihadists groups too moderate, as shown by the attack of a mosque last October.

“This situation does not call for a retweet but for urgent and strong action. As signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Burkina Faso and the international community share the obligation to save lives, to protect the dignity of the populations, and to defend effective freedom of belief.

That is why we are following this situation and acting in the areas where security is under strain. We are indeed strongly committed to reinforce our support to the fight against radicalisation. The set-up of humanitarian and human rights law compliance frameworks requires resources. We are funding the G5 Sahel force with €10 million, and pacific coexistence with communities with almost the same money, and supporting the civil society in the field of democracy with another €7 million. This is an example, some illustration of what we do in this specific purpose.

“Preserving social cohesion and religious coexistence is key for the stabilisation of the country. I would like to reassure you that the EU will continue supporting Burkina Faso in facing this critical challenge. Because the situation in Burkina Faso and in general in the Sahel affects very much the security and peaceful prospects also for us Europeans.”

« Older Entries