US Affirms Support for Unification of Libyan Army

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US Special Envoy to Libya, Ambassador Richard Norland
US Special Envoy to Libya, Ambassador Richard Norland

On Thursday, the US Special Envoy to Libya, Ambassador Richard Norland affirmed his support for the “efforts of the UN Special Envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily and Libyan military professionals in their efforts to unify Libya’s military, and remove foreign forces, fighters, and mercenaries from the country.”

These remarks came during the meeting of the co-chairs of the Security Working Group (SWG) for Libya, represented by the African Union, France, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in Tunis.

“Libyans deserve a united military, capable of defending the North African country’s sovereignty, just as they deserve a democratically elected government that represents all Libyans,” Norland said.

“The US looks forward to partnering with such a military under the civilian authority of such a government,” he added.

The SWG meeting, which discussed the security situation in Libya, was attended by members of Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), Italy’s Special Envoy to Libya, Nicola Orlando, and the British Ambassador to Libya, Caroline Hurndall. Representing France was Ambassador Mostafa Mihraje, and Special Envoy to Libya, Paul Soler.

Notably, the SWG is part of the international follow-up committee responsible for implementing the Berlin Conference agreements.

The last SWG meeting was held in June, in the presence of former advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Stephanie Williams, who stressed the importance of maintaining stability and calm across the country.

On Sunday, Bathily urged all Libyan institutions, including the Presidential Council, the Parliament, and the High Council of State (HCS) to engage in dialogue in the search for a solution and the acceleration of ongoing efforts.

He further urged the Parliament and the HCS to agree on a mutually acceptable location and date for their joint meeting. He noted that the meeting should come up with “concrete, implementable, and time-bound proposals for a consensual way out of this crisis.”

Bathily called on all Libyan citizens, as well as public institutions, including the Presidential Council, Judiciary, and Security Institutions, to “make their voices and concerns heard through democratic and transparent procedures, in a concerted effort to end the current deadlock.”