By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 19 April 2016:
The EU has formally declared that its 28 members now officially regard the proposed Government . . .[restrict]of National Accord as the legitimate government of Libya despite the fact the House of Representatives has not yet approved it or amended the 2011 Constitutional Declaration to incorporate the Libyan Political Agreement.
The announcement was part of a series of decisions (see below) made about Libya at an EU dinner last night in Luxembourg attended by all 28 EU foreign minsters and a number of defence ministers specifically concerned with Libya.
Welcoming the arrival of the Presidency Council in Tripoli and the decision by the Tripoli-based offices of the National Oil Corporation, the Central Bank and the Libyan Investment Authority to recognise it, the ministers reconfirmed their commitment to provide immediately €100m to support efforts by the GNA to bring about peace, security and prosperity in Libya. They also noted that the EU had already imposed sanctions against three individuals – HoR president Ageela Saleh, Congress president Nuri Abu Sahmain and Congress’s prime minister Khalifa Ghwell – but might remove them “should their behaviour change”. It might also add others to the list who undermined the political transition, they said.
The ministers also reconfirmed that the EU was willing to provide support for security in Libya should the GNA request it, a statement said.
Statement by EU ministers
- The EU welcomes the arrival of the Presidency Council in Tripoli on 30 March 2016 and commends the courage and determination of Prime Minister Serraj, the other members of the Presidency Council and supporting actors on the ground. This move helps pave the way for the effective government of the country by the Government of National Accord (GNA) and for addressing the needs of the Libyan people.
- The success of the GNA will depend on the collective efforts and cooperation of the Libyan people and their leaders. The EU underlines the Libyan ownership of the political process and the importance of its inclusiveness, notably through the continued participation of political and local actors, women and civil society. The EU, alongside Libya’s neighbouring countries, the UN and the international community, stands ready to support the GNA, at its request, to help it restore peace and stability in Libya.
- The Libyan Political Agreement, signed in Skhirat on 17 December 2015, endorsed by the UN Security Council through Resolution 2259 adopted unanimously on 23 December 2015, remains the basis for political progress in Libya. The Libyan Political Agreement has been fully supported by the EU, which considers the GNA as the sole legitimate government in Libya. The EU calls upon all stakeholders, particularly those in the region, to continue to urge all parties in Libya to engage constructively with the GNA and all other institutions included in the Libyan Political Agreement. The EU stresses that UNSCR 2259 includes a call to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions that claim to have legitimate authority but are outside the Agreement.
- The EU welcomes the acknowledgement of the authority of the GNA by various national institutions, including the Central Bank, the National Oil Company, and the Libyan Investment Authority, as well as Libyan municipalities. It looks forward to the immediate, orderly and peaceful transfer of power to the GNA, and urges existing militias and armed groups to respect its authority. In this respect, the EU urges the House of Representatives and other institutions, including the nascent State Council, to fulfil the roles assigned to them under the Libyan Political Agreement.
- The EU reaffirms its full support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Martin Kobler in their efforts to ensure the full implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement by all parties, and will continue to actively support their work.
- The EU has implemented restrictive measures against three individuals who have obstructed the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement and the political transition. The EU will review its restrictive measures should their behaviour change and, if necessary, may introduce additional restrictive measures against other individuals who threaten the peace, stability or security in Libya, or who undermine its political transition.
- The EU reiterates its commitment to fully provide a package of immediate and substantial measures in support of the GNA and the Libyan people totalling €100m in a number of different areas, to be defined and prioritised in close cooperation with the GNA and in coordination with UNSMIL. The EU welcomes the meeting co-chaired in Tunis on 12 April by UNSMIL and the UK on how the international community can support the priorities set out by the GNA to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity to the Libyan people. In this respect, the newly established Stabilisation Facility for Libya will be an important tool. The EU continues to provide short-term assistance through various funding instruments, including via support to municipalities and the provision of essential services to the Libyan population in need. Improved security conditions on the ground would facilitate the effective delivery of EU assistance. The EU stands ready to support the GNA in managing migration and asylum, in close coordination with UNHCR and IOM, taking into account the outcome of the Valletta Summit.
- The EU strongly condemns all attempts to disrupt the stabilization of Libya and reiterates its grave concern at the growing threat of terrorism including by Daesh and affiliates. This threat highlights the urgent need for the GNA to unite Libyan forces from all regions as the only way for Libya to take the path of peace, stability and prosperity, while preserving its unity and territorial integrity.
- The EU stands ready to offer security sector support in response to possible GNA requests. Should a Libyan request be forthcoming and following consultations with the Libyans, a possible civilian CSDP mission could support Libyan efforts inter alia through advice and capacity building in the fields of police and criminal justice including on counter-terrorism, border management, countering irregular migration and smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, as part of broader Security Sector Reform support. This possible mission could draw upon the existing planning capacity of EUBAM Libya. In addition to the possible civilian mission, further consideration will also be given to support that can be provided through EUNAVFOR MED Sophia, by enhancing its capacity to disrupt the business model of human smugglers and trafficking networks and to contribute to broader security in support to the legitimate Libyan authorities, for example through potential capacity building for the Libyan Coastguard, and the implementation of international law. The EU will ensure that its contribution responds to the requests and needs of the Libyan authorities guaranteeing full Libyan ownership, and is coordinated and coherent with other international support under the overall coordination of UNSMIL. Furthermore, the EU recognises the importance of the security of Libya’s borders for regional and European security. In this regard, the EU will consider ways of enhancing its regional support, including through existing CSDP activities in the Sahel.
- The EU reaffirms its strong condemnation of all human rights violations and abuses in Libya. The EU will strongly support the GNA in the protection and the promotion of human rights.
- The EU is deeply concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation and calls for urgent efforts to address the situation in the most affected areas, including Benghazi. In this regard, the EU welcomes the UN humanitarian response plan and stands ready to provide further assistance. The EU calls on all parties in Libya to ensure unhindered humanitarian access and security of humanitarian aid workers in order to facilitate the assistance and protection of civilians in need