On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council held a meeting via video conference to discuss recent developments in Libya.
During the meeting, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that the escalating conflict in Libya threatens to do irreversible damage to the country. He also decried the deteriorating situation, urging the international community to act.
“The situation in Libya is not getting better. On the contrary, the escalation in the past weeks and months threatens to tear the country apart for good. Not even a global pandemic has been able to stop this development”, Maas said in a statement.
The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, attended the meeting and proposed four ideas aimed at restoring peace in Libya. He said that a comprehensive ceasefire and end to the violence was necessary.
Wang said that China called for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties and urged all countries to effectively implement Security Council resolutions.
He also stressed the importance of working towards a political settlement, adding that China called on all parties to return to dialogue, adhere to the principle of Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political talks, support the UN as a main channel of mediation, and give full support to regional organizations such as the Arab League and the African Union in achieving a political settlement.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry accused a regional party of transporting extremists from Syria to Libya, warning that this will exacerbate the conflict in Libya.
He added that these illegal actions pose a clear threat to Egypt, claiming “we will not relent in confronting all these threats that come close to our borders”.
Shoukry stressed the need to stop extremism and put an end to regional conflicts and crises, highlighting Egypt’s firm position on supporting a political solution to the Libyan crisis as stated in the Cairo Declaration, which is consistent with the outcomes of the Berlin Conference and the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said that the United States “continue to oppose all foreign military intervention in Libya. There is no place for foreign mercenaries or proxy forces in Libya”.
United Arab Emirates Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told the security council that there were “roughly 10,000 Syrian mercenaries operating in Libya, approximately twice as many as there were six months ago”.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres not to delay the appointment of a new special representative to Libya.
He added that the current situation in Libya undermined efforts for a peaceful settlement.
“We know that Africa offered a strong candidate for this task. In this regard, we urge the Secretary General to take decisive steps to assign a new special envoy for Libya, while we do not see objective reasons for the postponement of his or her appointment”, said Nebenzia.
The warring parties are currently mobilizing forces between the cities of Misrata and Sirte. Egypt has warned that any Turkish-backed offensive to take Sirte could lead to it directly intervening.
Libya has descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Since 2014, it has been split between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar in east.