Abu Dhabi, 9 December 2014:
At an specially convened meeting in Abu Dhabi today, ambassadors and Special Envoys from the United States, the UK, France and Italy told Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, that they continued to “recognise and support” the Libyan House of Representatives and his government. According to a statement from Thinni’s press office, they also said that they do not recognise any other entity as the legitimate government in the country.
The four countries represent key international stakeholders in the UN-sponsored peace process.
The meeting was convened in Abu Dhabi as a mutually accessible location to address the allies’ and Libya authorities’ joint concerns over the continuing crisis in Libya.
“All sides raised concerns over the ongoing and deepening threat of terrorism in Libya, particularly of the emergence of ISIL in Libya and its affiliate groups including Ansar Al Sharia in Libya, and discussed ways to tackle it effectively,” a Libyan press release said.
It added: “The Prime Minister conveyed to the envoys that the overwhelming majority of Libyans are looking for a peaceful resolution to the turmoil in the country, but that they are also looking for guarantees from their government, the UN and the international community that this resolution does not reward criminality, threats and terrorist action.”
All sides are said to have agreed “that the only way forward to end this crisis is to come together in sincere dialogue to resolve their differences”.
For his part, Thinni insisted that if there is to be a realistic, successful and sustainable outcome “there must be certain conditions on dialogue, particularly, the exclusion of criminals and internationally designated terror groups”. He also said that dialogue could not “absolve, or render immune from the rule of law, any individual or group, of criminal actions that have led to the current situation”. He stressed that dialogue should not reward any individual or group that had brought themselves to the table through intimidation, violence or the theft of Libyan state assets.
The meeting between the envoys and the Prime Minister took place a day after a meeting in Tripoli between UN Envoy Bernadino Leon and Nuri Abu Sahmain at which Leon appeared to give equal value to the HoR and the rump Congress which claims to still be in session and the country’s legitimate parliament. [/restrict]