US Ambassador to Libya: Several Libyans Inserted “Poison Pills” into Geneva Talks


On Saturday, U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador Richard Norland commented on the failure of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Geneva to reach a consensus on the constitutional basis for holding the upcoming general elections in Libya, scheduled for December 24, 2021.

In a statement published by the US Embassy, Norland said “In November 2020, the LPDF members met and made key determinations regarding Libya’s future. The LPDF Roadmap for the Preparatory Phase of a Comprehensive Solution was welcomed by Libyans and the international community alike.”

“We have watched the LPDF meetings this week in Geneva closely, including several members who appear to be trying to insert ‘poison pills’ that will ensure elections will not happen — either by prolonging the constitutional process or by creating new conditions that must be met for elections to occur. Some of these individuals claim to be working on behalf of political leaders who have given the United States clear assurances that they support elections on December 24.”

The Ambassador confirmed that Libya’s future can only be determined by Libyans, saying that the United Nations Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) has worked diligently to facilitate discussions, despite challenges brought by COVID, but it cannot make decisions on behalf of Libyans.

Norland also expressed his hope the 75 Libyans in the LPDF will re-dedicate themselves to allowing the 7 million Libyans throughout the country to have a voice in shaping Libya’s future.

He stated that his country is ready to help the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU) provide basic services and prepare for national elections until its mandate ends in December.

“We look forward to hearing the platforms and positions of Libyan candidates as they debate the best ways of solving long-term issues such as the electricity crisis, providing liquidity to Libya’s business sector, fighting corruption, dealing with foreign forces and mercenaries, creating jobs, ensuring security, and finding a path for Libya.”