US Ambassador Reiterates Support for Libyan Elections

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On Tuesday, the US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland stated that the American business community is intensely interested in partnering with Libya as the political situation continues to stabilize. These remarks came during a meeting with the US-Libya Business Association.

“I underscored US support for elections and, with regard to the energy sector, the importance of maintaining a unified, technocratic, and independent National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the face of persistent challenges to its operations,” the Ambassador tweeted.

Kamala Harris, the US Vice-President has thrown her support behind a plan to stage risky and unprecedented Parliamentary and Presidential elections in Libya next month. This comes despite human rights groups warning that the conditions for fair elections may not exist.

Harris attended the Paris International Conference on Libya, which was attended by more than 30 countries and hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; and Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi.

The US – and the bulk of the international community at the Paris summit – took the view that Libya was more likely to slide into chaos if the elections were not held on 24 December.
They placed a strong emphasis on an inclusive election process open to all Libyans.

The summit also tried to build momentum behind repeated calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces. Turkey has announced that it would keep its troops in the country, insisting they are present at the invitation of the previous Tripoli-based government.

The communique also warned that “individuals or entities, inside or outside of Libya, who might attempt to obstruct, undermine, manipulate or falsify the electoral process and the political transition” could face international sanctions.

Earlier today, Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced his candidature for the upcoming Presidential elections next month.

This comes after Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of slain longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi submitted his candidacy papers on Sunday in the southern town of Sebha.