The Chargé d’Affairs of the US Embassy in Libya, Leslie Ordman stressed the need for “progress towards unifying the military institution in Libya.” He emphasized the importance of “removing foreign forces, fighters, and mercenaries from Libya,” and the need to “disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate armed groups into the country’s Army.”
The US diplomat pointed out that these steps are “essential to avoid conflict and advance the political transition process in Libya.”
In a video, Ordman stated that achieving these goals would “advance peace and secure Libya’s long-term sovereignty and stability as advocated by the Libyan people.”
Ordman expressed his pleasure at meeting with Libyan military officials representing both east and west, attending the International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition in Hammamet, Tunisia. He affirmed that the United States is committed to supporting the reunification of the Libyan army, under a democratically elected civilian leadership.
The diplomat commended the cooperative efforts of the Chiefs of Staff in the eastern and western regions, Abdulrazek Al-Nathouri and Mohamed Al-Haddad, and the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) to promote national reconciliation through the full implementation of the 2020 ceasefire agreement.
He added that the “Libyan people deserve to have a unified army capable of defending the sovereignty of their country, just as they deserve a democratically elected government that represents a united Libya.”
On Saturday, Ordman said that the US looked forward to partnering with a unified Libyan military.
“It is a challenging path but one that will profoundly help Libya once realized,” the US Embassy said in a tweet.
On Thursday, the Chief of Staff of Libya’s National Army (LNA), Lieutenant-General Abdulrazek Al-Nathouri participated in the event along with his Government of National Unity (GNU) counterpart, Major General Mohamed Al-Haddad in Tunisia.
The four-day event was inaugurated by the Tunisian Defense Minister; Imed Memmich, the Minister of Transport; Rabie Majidi, and the Minister of Employment; Nasreddine Nsibi.
Military delegations led by chiefs of African air forces and representatives of European, Argentinian, and Australian air forces attended the inauguration ceremony. At least 110 companies from 50 countries took part in the exhibition.
The first IADE was held in the southeastern Tunisian city of Djerba in March 2020 and was attended by more than 100 exhibitors from more than 40 countries.
This is the first meeting between Al-Nathouri and Al-Haddad since their talks in Tripoli in July. As part of the framework to unify the military institution.
In January, Lieutenant-General, Khairi Al-Tamimi said that this was a continuation of a previous meeting within the framework of a program to unify the military institution and build confidence between the two parties.
Libya has two rival armies present in the east and the west. They were engaged in fierce conflict, before signing an UN-brokered ceasefire agreement in October 2020.