Western nations back UN-facilitated Libyan political dialogue

Tripoli: Germany, Italy, the US, France and the UK have reiterated full support for the success of the UN-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) and interrelated economic and security dialogues, according to a joint statement.

The statement was issued after Ambassadors of Germany, Italy and the US and charge d’affaires of France and the UK, joined by the UN Support Mission in Libya, met virtually with Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The diplomats welcomed recent prisoner exchanges between Libyan rival parties, and urged rapid progress to facilitate the reopening of the Misurata-Sirte coastal highway as agreed by the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in October, said the statement.

“The heads of mission noted that for the intended formation of the executive authority within the LPDF framework, strong and engaged Libyan leadership is needed ahead of elections in December 2021.

“They also emphasized the need for public commentary to be constructive and in support of the process,” it said.

The statement confirmed that international actors are closely monitoring actions by all parties to fulfil their commitments to the success of the dialogues, and stressed the importance of the role of the UN-backed government of national accord to fully supporting this process.

“The heads of mission also reiterate their call for the international community’s full support for the Libyan-led, UN-convened political process, including the LPDF and October 23 Ceasefire Agreement,” it said.

The eastern-based army and the UN-backed government had been engaged in a deadly armed conflict for over a year in and around capital Tripoli, which ended in early June when the latter announced its takeover of all western Libya after withdrawal of the eastern-based army.

On October 23, Libyan delegations to the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks in Geneva signed a UN-sponsored permanent ceasefire agreement.

During the LPDF held on November 7-15 in Tunisia’s capital Tunis, 75 Libyans representing the social and political spectrum of the Libyan society participated to discuss a political roadmap to achieve lasting peace in the war-torn country.

The participants agreed to hold general elections in Libya on December 24, 2021.

They also voted on a mechanism to select the unified executive authority of the country.