On Sunday, Libya’s Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha met with the Spain Ambassador to Libya, Javier Larrache in Tunis. They discussed the latest developments in Libya’s political situation, stressed the need to avoid violence, and support peaceful and legal solutions.
They affirmed the need to hold Parliamentary and Presidential elections within a specific date, Bashagha’s media office said.
Bashagha also confirmed the “great relations with Spain” and the possibility of working together in various fields, such as energy, counter-terrorism, combatting organized crime, agriculture, water security, and others.
Notably, US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland announced expected negotiations between Libya’s two rival prime ministers, as the country has slipped into institutional division.
The US Embassy said in a statement that Norland met with the Bashagha in Tunisia on 12 March.
He commended Bashagha for his interest in pursuing urgent UN-facilitated negotiations, aimed at reaching a political understanding with the Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba. This is to manage the final stages of interim governance, and prepare for Parliamentary and Presidential elections as soon as possible.
The Ambassador conveyed his understanding that Dbaiba is prepared to participate in these talks.
“The format and location of talks will be determined by the parties themselves, in consultation with the UN and international partners,” the statement noted.
The US affirmed that it respects the right of Libyans to determine their future themselves. It urged this to be done through exclusively peaceful means, without resorting to violence.
“We believe free, fair, and inclusive elections are the only formula for lasting stability. Choosing sides is not an option. The only side that can justifiably be chosen is peaceful negotiations,” the statement concluded.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya (SASG), Stephanie Williams said the country’s rival prime ministers may hold direct talks, to resolve the ongoing political crisis.
Williams told Bloomberg that there’s been “positive feedback” from the two PM’s. “The good thing is that everyone is ready to engage in constructive dialogue, and that’s what we need to build upon,” she said on Thursday.
She claimed that the UN favours neither side, and is “not in the business of endorsing or recognizing governments.” She described holding elections as “the only way out of the Libyan political crisis,” and “essential to renew popular legitimacy for Libya’s institutions.”