By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis and Tripoli, 30 March 2016:
The British, Italian and the EU have joined UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler in . . .[restrict]welcoming the arrival of the Government of National Accord in Tripoli.
Kobler said it marked an important step in Libyan’s transition toward peace, security and prosperity.
“I commend the courage, determination and leadership of the Presidency Council under its president Fayez Serraj in moving forward with the implementation of the Libyan political agreement and the aspiration of the overwhelming majority of the Libyan people” he said, “The international community stands firmly behind them and is ready to provide the required support and assistance “.
He called on all Libyans, including public bodies and financial institutions to give Serraj their full cooperation and support.
Even as gunfire broke out in various parts of Tripoli, including the approaches to the Bu Sitta naval base where the GNA has established itself, Kobler stressed that it was the responsibility of all “security actors” to ensure the safety of Presidency Council and the GNA and avoid any action that would undermine what he saw as a crucial phase in Libya’s transition.
British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said that the UK government stood ready to respond positively to requests for support and assistance from the GNA to help it restore security and the economy. He went on to say that this help would not only be against IS (Daesh) but include the tackling of “criminal gangs that threaten the security of Libyans and exploit illegal migrants”.
Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said that because of the “determination” of Serraj and his fellow members of the presidency council, fresh progress for Libyans was now possible. Unlike Italian defence minister Roberta Pinotti, who in January suggested as frustrations grew at the lack of agreement on the GNA, suggested that the US and Europeans could take military action against IS even without a GNA request, Gentiloni made no reference to force.
He said today merely that Italy had always been “in the front line with numerous diplomatic initiatives for the goal of the stabilisation of Libya”
EU foreign affairs spokesman Federica Mogherini characterised that the arrival of the GNA in Tripoli was a unique opportunity for Libya. She added that the EU had an immediate €100 million financial package to distribute, based on priorities to be decided by the GNA. [/restrict]