The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy called for the acceleration of the exit of mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya, and expressed their support for the country’s new authority, during their visit, Thursday, March 25, 2021, to the capital, Tripoli.
The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy arrived in Tripoli, to hold talks with the new executive authority, in a joint visit in a gesture aimed at showing support of the three European countries for the recent political developments in this country mired in chaos.
This joint visit, according to Agence France-Presse, comes less than two weeks after the formation of a new unified Libyan government Responsible for managing the transitionAll the way to the general elections scheduled for the end of this year.
Agreement on the exit of foreign forces and mercenaries
On Thursday, Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Al-Manqoush announced the agreement on the necessity of the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from the country and the acceleration of the resumption of the activities of embassies there.
Al-Manqoush also said in a joint press conference by Al-Manqoush, on Thursday, with her French counterparts Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Heiko Maas, and Italian Luigi Di Maio, at the Prime Ministry headquarters in the capital, Tripoli: “We agreed on the necessity of the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from our lands and the acceleration of the return of embassies.”
The Libyan official added, “We affirm the need for all mercenaries to leave the homeland immediately.”
While she explained that she discussed with her counterparts “the need to accelerate the return of the activity of embassies and consulates in all parts of Libya, and to conduct the visa procedure from inside Libya and not from outside it.”
While adding that “the stability of Libya reflects positively on the neighboring countries, including Europe.” She added that “the principle of national sovereignty is a non-negotiable basis in the Libyan Foreign Ministry’s strategy in the national unity government.”
Libya on the European table of talks
The visit comes to coincide with Statements by French President Emmanuel Macron, That the Libyan file will be on the “table” in the European talks at the end of this month.
While Paris announced the reopening of its embassy in Tripoli next Monday, in reference to the state of rapprochement and support for the new authorities in Tripoli, which enjoy unprecedented international support.
Last Sunday, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio held talks in Tripoli, and met with Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba. This will be the first visit of the French Foreign Ministers, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany, Heiko Maas.
The three foreign ministers also met with the head of the national unity government, Abdel Hamid Dabaiba and his government, as well as with the UN special envoy to Libya, Jan Kubis, before concluding the visit by holding a joint conference with their Libyan counterpart.
Many challenges facing the new authority
Despite the end of the fighting between the forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman in eastern Libya, and the forces of the Tripoli government in June last year, and the subsequent signing of the ceasefire agreement in October, this North African country is still undermining it. Struggles over influence, the weight of armed groups, and the presence of foreign mercenaries.
“We are still deeply concerned about reports that talk about the continued presence of foreign elements in and around Sirte and central Libya,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a report submitted to the Security Council on Wednesday and obtained by AFP.
The United Nations also estimated the number of foreign soldiers and mercenaries in Libya at about 20 thousand, distributed in most of the cities of Libya.
After years of stalemate in a divided country, Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, 61, was appointed prime minister alongside a three-member presidential council on February 5 by 75 Libyan officials from all sides, who met at a forum for political dialogue in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the national unity government headed by Dabaiba, consisting of two deputy prime ministers, 26 ministers and six state ministers, obtained the confidence of Parliament and took the constitutional oath during the current month.
The new executive authority is responsible for unifying state institutions and overseeing the transitional phase until the December 24 elections, when their term expires under the latest road map.