On Thursday, Spain’s King Felipe VI stressed the necessity of strengthening partnerships with Libya, and supporting national reconciliation in the country.
In his speech during a ceremony in the presence of Spain’s Ambassador to Libya, Javier García-Larrache, he stated that Madrid wants to be a “pivotal and effective partner in the process of national reconciliation, led by the Libyans under the auspices of the United Nations.”
He also stressed the need for his country to contribute to establishing peace, stability, and prosperity in Libya, and the Mediterranean region as a whole.
In turn, Larrache emphasised that “any progress in the stability of the Libyan arena will help cooperation between the two countries,” noting that Madrid is studying the return of its companies at the present time.
Energy giant Repsol constitutes Spain’s main economic presence in oil-rich Libya. In June, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez paid a visit to Tripoli, during which, he said that Madrid wanted to support Libya’s political process.
A flurry of diplomatic activity has broken out since a new transitional unity government was installed last year, following an October ceasefire between rival camps in the country’s east and west. “This is a historic moment for Libya, a great opportunity, and Spain wants to be at its side,” Sanchez said during a news conference with Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba.
Sanchez said Spain wanted to support Libya’s election process, and announced it would “contribute to the Libyan ceasefire monitoring mechanism to guarantee security and the upholding of peace”.
The two sides also announced the reopening of Spain’s Embassy in Tripoli which has been shut since 2014. It follows moves from several countries including France and Greece in recent months.