By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 26 September 2014:
Representatives from 40 countries plus the European Union, the Arab League and the African Union pledged . . .[restrict]to support Libya’s democratic transition at a top-level meeting on Thursday in New York organised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of this year’s UN General Assembly.
Participants, which included the US, Russia, France, the UK, Italy and Libya’s Arab and African neighbours, voiced deep concern over the deep political divisions and violence in Libya, saying it posed a significant threat to the country’s transition and efforts to build a democratic state based on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The targeting of civilians and indiscriminate shelling, as well as attacks against civilian institutions and vital installations were unacceptable, the participants agreed, stating their determination to hold accountable those responsible for such violations in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2174 of 2014. They also called on all parties to allow for immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to all areas.
Taking note of the support of the President of Libya’s House of Representatives, Ageela Saleh, for the UN-facilitated meeting on 29 September designed to build bridges between the HoR and those of its members who have been boycotting its proceedings, participants reaffirmed the international community’s determination to preserve Libya’s unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
For his part, Saleh stressed that despite the highly appreciated regional and international support, the expected positive effects on the political and democratic process have not been attained. He added that it was time to think of unconventional and more creative methods for supporting Libya, given that the security situation was deteriorating day by day.
Specifically, he asked for help in enabling the government to monopolise the legitimate use of force, build defense and security institutions and disarm the militias.
Saleh also asked for rapid assistance to the government in order to regain control of the capital and called for a refusal by the international community to recognize or deal with any illegitimate institution set in parallel to existing institutions.
Expressing his personal desire for national dialogue, Saleh welcomed the assistance of UN Representative Bernadino Leon, neighbouring countries, the Arab League and the African Union.
Participants agreed that the political process was the only viable means of ending the present conflict and safeguarding Libya’s democratic transition.
Regarding Libya’s parliament, the House of Representatives , Ban Ki-moon stressed its legitimacy. “The legitimately elected legislature, the House 0f Representatives, has been forced to base itself in Tobruk, and a number of its members have boycotted its proceedings,” he said.
The view that the HoR is the only legislative authority in the country, not the rump General National Congress, was affirmed by the participants who called on all political leaders to place Libya’s national interest above all other considerations and to work together toward a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Participants added that the only way to end the current crisis in Libya was to uphold Libya’s Constitutional Declaration and its roadmap for democratic transition, to respect the legitimacy of elected institutions, guarantee respect for human rights and reject the use of force or terrorism. Any individual or entity responsible for acts designed to obstruct or undermine Libya’s political transition would be subject to international sanction in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2174, they added.
The work of Libya’s Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) was of the utmost importance, the group said. The draft document had to “enshrine” the rights and aspirations of all Libyan people for a democratic state based on the rule of law. The CDA had ben facing serious challenges, the group said, and participants affirmed their support in providing the CDA with all the technical support it needs to complete its task.
There was a growing presence of radical and terrorist groups in Libya, the group said, and they posed a significant threat to the stability of Libya and the rest of the region. The government of Libya had to take the lead in addressing the threat, participants agreed, affirming their readiness to support the government in this area.
Meanwhile, also on the sidelines of the General Assembly, US President Barack Obama met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to discuss the situation in Libya.
Sisi also stressed the importance of supporting the House of Representatives as the legally elected legislature and again affirmed his opposition to any intervention in Libyan internal affairs. The Egyptian president likewise called for a dialogue on the crisis that includds all parties within the country.
For his part, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki voiced concern about the crisis in Libya, noting that Tunisia’s stability depended on that of its neighbour. Marzouki similarly said that he hoped that Libya would choose to pursue national dialogue in order to build a stable and democratic state, rather than resorting to accepting any foreign military intervention. [/restrict]