Tag Archives: GNA

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. 

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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”.

Ankara sends troops to Tripoli

President Erdogan said the Turkish troops are arriving to Libya, after the Parliament in Ankara responded positively to the request of the Tripoli Government of National Accord (GNA) to support Al Sarraj administration.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Turkish military units are going to Libya to support Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

The Turkish President told CNN Turk that the country was also sending senior military personnel to Libya to back up the internationally-recognized government.

The U.S. embassy in Libya released a statement criticizing Ankara for sending Syrian fighters to Libya, calling it “toxic foreign interference.”

Ankara seals military alliance with Tripoli

Turkey moved closer to military support for Tripoli internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) during the weekend when a bilateral deal that provides for a swift reaction force if requested by Fayez Al Sarraj administration was submitted to Turkish parliament.

Erdogan said that Turkey was ready to provide Tripoli any military support it needed after Ankara and Libya’s internationally recognised government signed the deal.

Ankara’s latest move raises tensions in the Mediterranean region and risks confrontation with Libya National Army forces led by Khalifa Haftar based in eastern Libya, where the Interim government supported by Parliament is has been based since 2014.

Late last month, Ankara and Tripoli signed an expanded security and military accord and, separately, a Memorandum on maritime boundaries that Greece and Cyprus said violates international law.

We will be protecting the rights of Libya and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said on A Haber TV. “We are more than ready to give whatever support necessary to Libya.”

While the maritime accord has been sent to the United Nations for endorsement, the military deal has been presented to Turkey’s Parliament.

“Parliament will enter it into force after approval,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

At present the date of vote in the Parliament dominated by Erdogan ruling AK Party has been not announced yet.

Projections of Tripoli destiny

“Naturally, the European Union does not have a plan to evacuate Tripoli. As you can imagine. We are not part of the conflict and I have no reference that such a thing will happen. Tripoli is a city of two million inhabitants and any fight on the streets of the city would be something really problematic and serious,” said top diplomat Josep Borrell during the press-conference, concluding the Council of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The issue of possible evacuation of the Italian mission and the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) came to attention of the international press after a number of statements of different players, claiming Tripoli siege would end by the New Year, by entering of the Libyan National Army forces led by Marshall Khalifa Haftar. However the answer did not correlate to a question about the future of the Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj, if the EU is prepared to offer him an asylum.

“If you ask me if we have a plan to solve the Tripoli problem, of course not, because it is not our job, but we are in contact, all we can with our delegation there and that of the Member States to call the parties in conflict to the necessary restrain to avoid what could be a very serious situation such as the fighting in the center of a city of two million inhabitants.”

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In the introduction of Borrell underlined the significance of the efforts of German diplomacy to find a negociated solution for establishing lasting peace in Libya.

On Libya more specifically, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas has informed the Council about Germany’s plan for the Berlin process, which aims at finding a sustainable solution to the situation in Libya. I hope it will bear fruits and I believe we should be able to do more on Libya. We certainly [need] to do more because we cannot claim to be a geopolitical power if we cannot solve problems in our immediate neighbourhood“.

Greece expels Libya Ambassador

Libyan ambassador is expelled from Athens following the agreement between Libya and Turkey, signed on November 27, which maps out a sea boundary between the two countries, close to Crete island.

Mohamed Younis AB Menfi has 72 hours to leave the country, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters on December 6. The Turkey-Libyan accord was a “blatant violation of international law,” Dendias said.

Ankara is backing Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli.The agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and the Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj administration could complicate disputes over energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkish drilling has caused indignation of Greek Cypriots, Athens, and the EU.

Tripoli GNA obstructs Europarl debate

Anna van Densky from Brussels. As a result of the considerable diplomatic effort of the Government of National Accord (GNA, Tripoli) mission in Brussels, the public event with H.E.Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Libyan Interim government Abdulhadi Ibrahim Lahweej (pictured) posted by MEP Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, Italy), has been occluded. The Italian MEP initiate has been aimed at engaging in conversation with the Libyan top diplomat in search of avenues for peace in torn by conflict country, supporting efforts of establishing the meaningful dialog among rivals for political power.

However the GNA obstruction of the dialogue, reaching European Parliament premises in Brussels, opposing exchange of views between the MEP with the Minister, casts a long shadow on Tripoli administration, conforming the worst assessments of the experts, claiming the situation has degenerated. and the capital is overpowered by Muslim Brotherhood militia, imposing their ambition on Fayez Al-Sarraj, dabbed their “hostage“. The protracted devastating for the Libyans conflict serves primary the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, considered by the Libyan parliament as terrorist group, and subsequently the major obstacle to reconciliation and peace. (Image below: sign against Muslim Brotherhood in streets of Tripoli).

Te rejection of the dialogue between rival Libyan political centre undermines the position of the EU, so far supporting Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj, howerver this support by no means is la carte blanche for Tripoli administration policies and actions. The blunt rejection of the attempts to establish a dialogue is seen by experts and the opponents of al-Sarraj as his ultimate submission to Muslim Brotherhood influences, which further degrade Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for restoration.

The de-constructive position of GNA is also raising questions of viability of future conference on Libya proposed by the German diplomacy. But not only, because peace in Libya is essential for stability and security in Maghreb and Sahel.

Since overthrowing of Gaddaif regime, the terrorist threat in Maghreb has risen 300 percent, with a dramatic impact on sub-Saharan Africa, namely Sahel, where the EU along with France and Germany supports G5 – five nations alliance, fighting terrorism. The future head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell has been atmost clear when stating that peace in Libya is key element for security and stability of Europe.

The dictatorial impulses of Al-Sarraj administration, establishing their power through exclusion of the political opponents, and occluding debate, as it happened in case of MEP Martusciello initiative, serve as the convincing evidence of growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood in Tripoli. which further degrades Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for revival.

AMENDEMENT: image on display Minister Lahweej at European Parliament, Brussels, 15 October 2019, @AlexandreLouvet.

EU continues investing in Tripoli

EU representatives from the EU Delegation to Libya, Operation Sophia and EUBAM met with the President of the Presidency Council, Fayez Al Serraj, and other Libyan officials in Tripoli, notably Deputy Minister of Defence Colonel Ewhida Abdullah Ewhida, the Chief of the Libyan Navy and the Chief of the Libyan Coastguard.

Discussions focused on the overall EU support to Libya and the Libyan needs, notably on capacity building for security institutions and the rule of law, border control and managing migration.

The mission took place just days after EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, EUBAM Libya and the EU Liaison and Planning Cell supporting the peace and security process in Libya were renewed until December 2018.  On Operation Sophia, discussions focused on the implementation of the renewed mandate and tasks, notably on how to set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure the long-term efficiency of the training of the Libyan Coastguard.

The visit also followed the adoption of a new programme of €46 million under the EU Trust Fund for Africa on Friday 28 July, to reinforce the integrated migration and border management capacities of the Libyan authorities. It aims at stepping up activities in support of the Libyan Border- and Coast Guards to enhance their capacity to effectively manage the country’s borders. It complements the €90 million package adopted in April 2017 focused on the country stabilization and protection of IDPs, migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya.

The visit underlined the EU determination to support Libya, a close neighbour, at this important moment. EU financial support to Libya targets a wide range of sectors, among them health and education institutions, private sector development and local communities.

EU supports one side in Libya’s conflict

The Council adopted conclusions on Libya.  The conclusions recognises that recent violence threatens Libya’s stability. The EU believes there is no solution to the Libyan crisis through the use of force. The Council reiterates its firm support to the Libyan Political Agreement and to the Presidency Council and Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj (pictured) established under it as the sole legitimate government authorities in the country. The EU calls on all armed groups to refrain from violence, to commit to demobilisation and to recognize the authorities entrusted by the Libyan Political Agreement as the only ones having the right to control Libya’s defence and security forces.

The EU warmly welcomes the appointment of Ghassan Salamé as new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, who will play a central mediation role based on the Libyan Political Agreement.

South Libya clashes

 

The clashes and escalation of violence in the south of Libya endanger the political process and put Libyan citizens’ lives at risk.

Libya’s unity government in Tripoli has called for “urgent intervention” by the international community to end military escalation in its south, warning of a possible “civil war”.

For more than a week, militias allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) have fought off rival forces trying to capture an airbase in the south of the North African country.

 

 

 

“We ask you to take a firm and decisive stance with regards to this escalation and we will support all decisions to re-establish security and stability in Libya,” GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj wrote in a letter published on Saturday.  (Photo: illustration)

 

 

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