By Sami Zaptia.
London, 30 June 2017:
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian admitted that as far as France was concerned Libya had no effective government or state to deal with. France has ‘‘no Libyan State interlocutors’’ to deal with. Adding that France could not ‘‘be satisfied by this situation’’. ‘‘Libya is a totally failed State where all structures now need to be rebuilt’’, he stated.
With regards to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed by the contending Libyan parties in Skhirat in December 2016, Le Drian said that while it must remain as the mechanism for seeking Libyan accord, the ‘‘architecture needs to be adjusted’’. Adding that ‘‘General Hafter is part of the solution’’, but without elaborating exactly how. ‘‘In any case, France cannot remain silent and Libya is a priority of our President’’, he added.
Foreign Minister Le Drian was responding to the questions: ”What needs to be done to stabilize Libya? Should Field Marshal Hafter be included?” put to him in an interview with La Matinale du Monde, yesterday.
‘‘In my view, this is now a major issue: the security risk is growing in Libya, in the context of trafficking of all sorts, and even of people. The Central Mediterranean migration route is once again the largest one, and we have no Libyan State interlocutors. We cannot be satisfied by this situation.
As early as 2014, I warned publicly of the risk that Daesh would bed down in Libya. That has happened. The scope of Daesh’s action in Libya has been reduced, particularly around Sirte, Derna and Benghazi, but the Jihadists have split up and the threat remains. Libya is a totally failed State where all structures now need to be rebuilt. Since taking office, I have visited Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt, and I will soon visit Italy to discuss this issue and help seek an agreement.
The framework needs to remain that of Skhirat [Moroccan city where an agreement, signed in December 2015 under the auspices of the UN, enabled Fayez Al Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) to be established], but the architecture needs to be adjusted under the supervision of the UN and with the sponsorship of neighbouring States. Like Prime Minister Sarraj, General Hafter [who disputes the authority of the GNA based in Tripoli] is part of the solution. In any case, France cannot remain silent and Libya is a priority of our President’’, concluded Foreign Minister Le Drian.