Panafrican News Agency

Libya's neighbours call for withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The foreign ministers of Libya's neighbouring countries Thursday stressed the need to involve neighbouring countries in talks on the process of withdrawing all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, an official statement said here.

They called on Libyan institutions to make the joint security agreement effective and adopt the constitutional basis for the holding of elections on the scheduled date of 24 December.

The statement of the meeting held on Monday and Tuesday in Algiers reiterated the need for the "withdrawal of all foreign forces and fighters, as well as mercenaries from Libya in accordance with the ceasefire agreement" signed between the Libyan parties last October in Geneva, Switzerland.

The participants called for the implementation of the quadripartite agreement between Libya and neighbouring countries to secure their common borders.

They also welcomed Egypt's proposal to host the next meeting of foreign ministers of Libya's neighbours at a date to be set soon, said the final communiqué widely reported by Libyan media on their websites.

The meeting, chaired by Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, was attended by foreign ministers from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Niger, Chad and the Republic of Congo.

It was also attended by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, the UN Special Envoy to Libya and the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.

They emphasized the need for Libyan institutions to prepare the legal and constitutional ground by establishing the constitutional basis, unifying the specialized institutions and achieving national reconciliation, for the holding of general elections on December, 2021.

The participants expressed their support for the initiative aimed at the stability of Libya in implementation of Security Council resolutions 2570 and 2571, as well as the conclusions of the Berlin Conferences (1 and II).

They also considered it imperative to coordinate efforts and schedule consultative meetings before the next election date.

They again stressed the key role of the neighbouring countries' mechanism in supporting the Libyan process under the auspices of the UN.

Additionally, they stressed the need to consult within the Libyan political dialogue forum and coordination at the level of the "5+5" Joint Military Committee and Libya's neighbouring countries regarding the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces with a view to setting up an effective and operational mechanism between Libya and its neighbours.

Taking into account the influence of the situation in Libya on the southern neighbouring countries, the participants expressed their absolute rejection of all forms of foreign interventions in Libyan affairs and the continued delivery of arms and mercenaries to armed formations, in flagrant violation of the UN arms ban, as well as deliberate attempts to sow discord among Libyans and undermine all efforts aimed at the resolution of the crisis.

They stressed the importance of strengthening coordination and complementarity between the efforts of the UN, AU, Arab League and the EU working closely with neighbouring countries.

The participating ministers welcomed the improvement of the situation in Libya marked by the cessation of hostile actions and the formation of the transitional authority, namely the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity which won the confidence of the House of Representatives, as well as the reopening of the coastal road linking eastern and western Libya.

The foreign ministers stressed the "imperative" need to "restore confidence to ensure a favourable climate for the success of the forthcoming elections in Libya", underlining the major importance of a comprehensive and credible national reconciliation within the framework of the efforts of the AU and Libya's neighbouring countries.

The participants welcomed the announced steps to be taken in the near future by the AU High Level Team on Libya and the AU Commission to prepare the ground for the holding of the Intra-Libyan Reconciliation Conference in coordination with the neighbouring countries.

The participants agreed to coordinate their collective efforts towards all Libyan parties to end the crisis in accordance with the UN process.

This is to be done by sending a ministerial delegation to visit Libya to express solidarity with the Libyan people and dialogue with all Libyan parties to assess the process of the political operation preceding the elections scheduled for the end of the current year. -

They also called for support for the Libyan initiative for stability in Libya in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2570 and the conclusions of the Berlin Conference (I and II) and the organization of consultative meetings before the next deadlines.

They stressed the intensification of contacts with foreign parties to affirm that the political solution "is the only alternative" for the Libyan crisis, as well as the reactivation of two ad-hoc political and security sub-committees to be chaired respectively by Egypt and Algeria, stating the  issues to be addressed while providing for a first meeting to be held shortly.

Additionally, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune received the ministers and heads of delegations who briefed him on the results of the meeting held in an atmosphere marked by a spirit of brotherhood and cooperation.

They also expressed their appreciation for Algeria's continuous efforts to contribute to the establishment of the foundations of dialogue between the Libyan brothers to reach a political solution that would guarantee the restoration of peace, security and stability throughout Libya.

On this occasion, he gave guidelines to the participants to continue their efforts and intensify coordination and cooperation to translate what had been decided on the ground and thus ensure the success of the ongoing political process in Libya.

-0- PANA MA/IN/IS/BBA/RA 2Sept2021