US Supports Libyans’ Right to Engage in Peaceful Protests


On Monday, the US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, affirmed his support for Libyans’ right to engage in peaceful protests, urging all Libyan leaders to work together to address the pressing needs of the people at a time of real opportunity for the country.

Ambassador Norland shared his country’s concerns over alarming electricity shortages, especially in the context of the growing COVID-19 pandemic, and supported the right of citizens anywhere in the country to engage in peaceful protest.

In a statement, the US embassy said that Norland informed the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, on Sunday, that the ceasefire statements represent a very positive development, urging Libyan leaders to operationalise calls for ceasefire and oil production resumption.

The US ambassador stressed the need for the UNSMIL-backed “5+5” format to focus immediately on the modalities of a ceasefire and how to establish an effective demilitarised solution in central Libya, one that begins the process of de-escalation and starts the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.

The statement added that Norland spoke with Libyan political figures and officials on Sunday and Monday to assess progress in operationalising the statements issued on Friday regarding a ceasefire and the resumption of oil production in Libya.

On his part, the GNA’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala told Ambassador Norland in a phone call that Libya welcomed the positive reactions from so many foreign states to Friday’s announcements, and agreed with the Ambassador on the importance of supporting the UN-led negotiations process.

In a call with NOC chairman Sanalla, the Ambassador confirmed American support for arrangements that would permit the immediate resumption of oil production with a transparent mechanism to ensure that revenues remain frozen pending negotiations between the Libyan parties on the future distribution of such resources.