Tag Archives: Tripoli

Sassoli welcomes Libya truce

“I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire in Libya between Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar. The halt to the armed conflict is the first fundamental step in the right direction” reads the statement of the presdient of the European Parliament David Sassoli (pictured).

“This is a result for which the European Union has worked hard for. I would like to thank High Representative Josep Borrell, European Council President Charles Michel, and national governments who showed unity in support of the initiative of the European Union. It is now necessary to consolidate this result and relaunch, after months of stalemate, the dialogue between the parties to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis. The European Union, under the auspices of the United Nations and within the framework of the Berlin Process, can and must play a leading role in facilitating this. Our goal is a stable Libya, democratic and free from external interference. It is not for anyone but the Libyan people themselves to decide on their future. The European Union is ready to do its part.”

In spite of the announced ceasefire in Libya, initiated by Turkey and Russia, Libyans witnessed a heavy fighting and air strikes on January 12, though both warring factions accused each other of violating the truce as military operations continued around the capital Tripoli.

Tripoli: Al-Sarraj accepts ceasefire

Tripoli-based administration of Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj has also declared ceasefire as part of an initiative proposed by Russia and Turkey, reads the statement posted on its Facebook page.

In response to a call of Turkish and Russian Presidents Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, the head of the presidential council [who acts as the head of state, this body is led by al-Sarraj] and commander-in-chief of the Libyan Army declare ceasefire starting from January 12,” the statement said.

The communique outlines a number of steps that that GNA plans to take in order to implement ceasefire. In particular, it declares that military committees proposed by both sides should immediately start working on the measures guaranteeing ceasefire under the UN auspices.

Al-Sarraj’s administration has also confirmed that it supports the course towards political settlement through the Berlin conference for arranging a nationwide meeting attended by all parties to the Libyan conflict. It also recalled that it has a legal right to protect itself, responding to any possible attack or aggression of the other party.

On January 11, the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar also declared its agreement to stop combat actions. LNA Spokesman General Ahmed al-Mesmari announced a ceasefire from midnight on January 12 local time (01:00 Moscow time). He demanded that the opposite side back the ceasefire, vowing to give a harsh response in case of its refusal.

The Presidents of Russia and Turkey called on all parties in the conflict to declare ceasefire starting from January 12 after their meeting in Istanbul on January 8.

Haftar announces ceasefire

The army of Libyan Marshall Khalifa Haftar announced a ceasefire from midnight January 12 (2200 GMT) following calls from Moscow and Ankara for a truce.

They warned, however, in a short statement that the “response will be severe in the event of any violation of the truce by the opposing camp”, a reference to the UN-recognised government in Libya, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

Haftar’s forces have been battling to take the capital from the GNA since April.

EU diplomats discuss Libya with Salamé

The extraordinary session of the Foreign Affairs Council, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, takes place in Brussels today. It will start with a discussion on current affairs.

Under this item, the Council will consider the evolving situation in Libya. In the margins of the meeting, ministers will be informally briefed on the same subject by the UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Mr Ghassan Salamé.

Al-Sarraj visits Europarliament

EP President David Sassoli will meet Fayez Al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, today at 14:30 (Brussels time).

The meeting is taking place during a visit by Mr Al-Sarraj to Brussels to discuss the ongoing situation in Libya with various EU leaders.

DEVELOPING STORY

After meeting with president Sassoli in the European parliament in Brussels Fayez Al-Sarraj answered two questions of Turkish correspondent for Anaddolu News agency. Asked in English questions were responded in Arabic.

Fayez Al-Sarraj used visit as an opportunity to blame Marshall Kalifa Haftar for engaging foreign powers and mercenaries against GNA, being sole internationally recognized authority in Libya.

According to our Arab journalists Al-Sarraj said he represents “legitimate and internationally recognized” government of #Libya, defending his right to sign agreements with third parties.

AMENDED:

With Mr Fayez Mustafa Al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, we examined the latest developments in the situation in Libya. I reiterated the call for an immediate end to the military conflict, which is only bringing mourning and suffering to the civilian population. The solution to the crisis cannot be a military one; it can only be through a political process bringing together all parts of the country, under the auspices of the United Nations and without any external interference. The EU is ready to play its role in fostering dialogue between all the main actors. We are committed to supporting the efforts of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell for a peaceful solution in Libya under the framework of the Berlin process”  the statement of the President David Sassoli reads.

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

“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”.

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.”

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.”

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