Category Archives: Maghreb

Libya Quartet to meet in Cairo

EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini will be attending meeting of Libya Quartet hosted by the League of Arab States in Cairo. (Image: Tuyuri neighborhood in Sebha, south Libya, courtesy Claudia Gazzini)

The aim of the Libya Quartet is to support UN mediation and regional efforts and to accompany the process of the political transition in Libya, in full respect of Libyan ownership. On Monday, the Libya Quartet will  discuss progress in the UN mediation efforts, led by UNSG Special Representative Ghassan Salamé, and explore ways in which these key regional groupings can keep supporting this work.

A joint press conference will take place after the plenary meeting on Monday evening at 19.30 CET. EBS will provide audio-visual coverage.

NATO to enhance cooperation with Tunisia

NATO continues to work with Tunisia on a defence-capacity building package and this including the support  for the development of special operation forces, intelligence, – said Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO. “..We are also looking into other areas, like for instance border control and other areas which are relevant for the fight against terrorism” – Stoltenberg continued.

” The whole idea is that the best tool, or one of the best weapons we have against terrorism is to train local forces, to enable local governments to stabilise their own countries and to fight terrorism themselves. And therefore, the whole idea of projecting stability, stabilising our neighbourhood by training local forces, is one of the most important weapons we have against terrorism”.

Libya: Mogherini meets Salame

EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini received UN Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salame in Brussels.

The diplomats discussed recent developments and the current situation in Libya. They reflected upon the implementation of the UN’s four-point action plan for Libya, on the political talks, national conference, constitution and elections, that the Mogherini put forward in September 2017.

Mogherini expressed her thanks and reiterated the EU’s full support to the work of the UN Special Representative in implementing the plan and in his efforts to help Libyans bring about unity and reconciliation in their country.

Both diplomats underlined the fruitful cooperation between the UN and the EU in support of Libya and its people, including on humanitarian issues and the preparation of the national conference and elections.

El-Sisi expects endorsement for his ongoing mandate

Polling stations will be open for three days and  Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a former military commander, has urged Egyptians participate, hinting that he sees the election as a referendum on his four-year rule.

While many Egyptians regards the U.S.-allied leadership as vital factor to stability in a country where unrest since 2011 has hurt the economy, critics say he has presided over Egypt’s worst ever crackdown on dissent and have dubbed the vote a charade.

General El-Sisi (63), who led the military coup d’état of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, has cast his bid for a second term as a vote for stability and security.

However a low turnout could suggest El-Sisi enters legitimacy crisis, undermining value of his mandate, needed to revive the economy,  struggling after the 2011 revolution to attract  tourists and foreign investors, abandoning the country after turmoil.

Sarkozy in custody over Libyan funding

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is held in police custody for questioning by magistrates over the allegations of funding from Libyan sources for his 2007 election campaign, an official in the French judiciary said.

A former minister Brice Hortefeux, was also being questioned by police on in relation to the Libya investigation, another source close to the probe said.

Information about Sarkozy campaign funding from Libya have been circulating for a decade, however is it just this morning Sarkozy was questioned on the issue.

A French-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine has publicly repeated claims that the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gave €50m to fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s successful 2007 campaign for the French presidency.

In a film published on the news website Mediapart, Ziad Takieddine, who introduced Sarkozy to Gaddafi, insists he handed over cases stuffed with cash to the former French leader and his chief of staff, Claude Guéant.

MEPs discuss slave trade in Libya

The mistreatment of migrants and refugees in Libya, and arrangements for their resettlement or return, are debated with UNHCR in the European Parliament on Monday, 5/03/2018.

The ways to end the mistreatment of migrants and refugees stranded in Libya, the point of departure of up to 90% of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, will be discussed by Civil Liberties Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, members of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries and UNHCR, Commission and External Action Service representatives.

Following several media reports that migrants have fallen victim to the slave trade in Libya, the EU and the African Union, together with the UN, agreed in November 2017 to set up a joint Task Force to save and protect lives along the African migration routes and in particular inside Libya, accelerating assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin, and the resettlement of those in need of international protection.

Fighting smuggling and easing returns to countries of origin are EU priorities.

Libya’s Sharara oil field interrupted extraction

Libya’s Sharara oil field stopped extracting crude oil several days after output plunged at another of the OPEC member’s biggest deposits.

 The halt resulted from the closing of a pipeline from Sharara to the Zawiya refinery, according to experts opinion. Sharara stopped production on Sunday (4/03/2018), according to Maghrebin sources. Libya had been pumping 1.1 million barrels a day as of March 1, with Sharara contributing 300,000 of that. The field is run by a joint venture between the National Oil Corp. and Repsol SATotal SA, OMV AG and Statoil ASA.
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