EU Highlights Need for Political Solution in Libya

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On Saturday, the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Libya, Jose Sabadell, held a meeting with the Libyan Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, to discuss the latest developments in the Libyan file.

During the talks, the EU ambassador stressed the need to prevent escalation, avoid violence and find a political solution to the current impasse leading to Libyan elections.

He added that adopting an economic track can play a role to build confidence between the Libyan parties.

The EU diplomat also praised the role played by the Libyan Premier in preventing the outbreak of armed clashes in the capital, Tripoli.

In turn, Bashagha emphasized that the government’s main goal is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections and fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people in living in a stable and democratic country.

On Thursday, Bashagha held a telephone call with the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, to discuss the latest developments of the crisis.

Guterres expressed “deep concern at the ongoing political polarization in Libya, which carries significant risks for the hard-won stability,” said Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.

“Guterres stressed the need for all actors to preserve calm and stability on the ground, while reiterating the UN’s firm rejection for the use of violence, intimidation, and hate speech,” said Dujarric.

Guterres added that the current stalemate required urgent dialogue to find a consensual way forward. He also emphasised his full support for mediation efforts carried out by his Special Adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams.

The current crisis erupted after Libya failed to hold its first presidential elections on the 24th of December, under an UN-led reconciliation effort. The peace plan also involved installing an interim unity government last year. This was aimed at resolving the conflict between the country’s main factions that split Libya in 2014, between rival governments in East and West.

The Libyan Parliament named a new Prime Minister, former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, to lead a new interim government in February. Members of Parliament (MPs) argued that the incumbent Prime Minister, Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba’s mandate expired when elections failed to take place.

Al-Dbaiba warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.