On Tuesday, the Arab League stressed the importance of preserving the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Libya. It rejected calls for separation of the state, as well as any local or foreign plans to divide the country into areas of influence, which would create a permanent rift in the social fabric.
During an emergency meeting regarding the situation in Libya, the Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that the League “condemns all forms of foreign interventions in Libya, expressing its “absolute rejection” to any military solution to the Libyan conflict.
“We have unanimously agreed that there is no way but a comprehensive political solution to settle the crisis. This must address the root of the conflict through an inclusive political process, with its security, political, and economic tracks under the auspices of the United Nations. It should also be in a manner that is agreed upon by the Arab League, the Berlin Conference participants, and approved by the Security Council.” Aboul Gheit said.
He confirmed that the direct goal must be “to stop the fighting, reduce military escalation, and to reach an immediate calm on all frontlines, especially around Sirte.”
“This is to enable the Libyan parties to renew their involvement in the Joint Military Committee negotiations, to reach an official, comprehensive, and lasting ceasefire throughout the country”, he said.
“Any ceasefire arrangement will not succeed or last for long, unless it is accompanied by clear obligations and provisions to remove mercenaries and foreign fighters from the country, dismantle and demobilize armed militias, and prevent the continuation of foreign military interventions”, Aboul Gheit added.
He praised efforts to resume a serious political dialogue between the warring parties, “as long as this is based on launching a pure national political process led by the Libyans themselves and sponsored by the United Nations”.
He pointed out that there are a number of constructive and detailed proposals included in the Cairo Declaration, which has gained wide Arab, regional and international support.
The Cairo Declaration is an initiative launched by Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi that seeks to resolve the Libyan conflict based on the outcomes of the Berlin Conference.
“The Arab League itself has come a long way in its coordinated and complementary work within the Quartet of the United Nations, the EU, and the African Union,” Aboul Gheit added.
He stressed that the League currently holds the joint chair of the International Follow-up Committee on Libya (IFCL).
“The IFCL is working to secure commitments to the conclusions of the Berlin Conference and support peace efforts by the UN”, he said.
The Secretary General concluded that the current situation is “very dangerous”, confirming that “we don’t have the luxury to keep watching what is happening or deliberating on it in a regular way”.
“The matter requires a stronger Arab commitment and sincere political will by all member states without exception. This is in order to enable the League to assume its full responsibilities and to preserve the country from foreign interference, greed, and help end the cycle of violence” Aboul Gheit concluded