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Italy, US, France, Germany, UK urge rapid appointment of unified Libyan govt

21 gennaio 2021 | 23.51
LETTURA: 3 minuti

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Self-styled Libyan National Army's chief Khalifa Haftar (L) and his arch-rival, Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj (R)Photo: AFP

Italy, the US, France, Germany, the United Kingdom on Thursday welcomed the vote by Libyan political and social forces in favour of a procedure to pick a unified interim government and urged Libya to swiftly appoint an "inclusive" new executive to lead the country to December elections.

"This is an important step towards Libyan unity. The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum's decision affirms the clear demands of the Libyan people that it is time for a change of the status quo," read the statement.

"We encourage all Libyan parties to act urgently and in good faith to finalize the adoption through the LPDF of a unified and inclusive government," the statement continued.

The five nations vowed to give their "full support" to the LPDF's appointment of a unified executive to lead Libya to free and fair elections slated for 24 December and to stabilise the war-ravaged country.

"As participants in the Berlin Conference process and international partners of Libya, we will lend our full support to the LPDF’s efforts, the statement said. It referred to an international conference held in Berlin on 19 January last year at which world powers pledged to uphold a much-violated arms embargo against Libya and to end external interference in its domestic affairs.

The statement also welcomed this week's appointment of veteran Slovak diplomat Jan Kubis as UN special envoy to Libya and the appointments of Raisedon Zenenga as the UNSMIL Coordinator, Georgette Gagnon as Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator.

"We will fully support them in their important roles," underlined statement. It also paid tribute to acting UN envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams "for her continuing steadfast leadership of UN mediation until Mr. Kubis takes up his position."

The international community has a "critical" role to play in backing a political solution in Libya and in ending "toxic" foreign meddling, the statement said, recalling the "solemn commitments" made at the Berlin conference and UN Security Council Resolution 2510 adopted on 12 February last year.

UNSCR 2510 calls for a nationwide ceasefire in Libya - subsequently agreed by the country's warring sides on 23 October last year - and for the enforcement of the UN arms embargo.

"We must continue to support a ceasefire, restore full respect for the UN arms embargo, and end the toxic foreign interference that undermines the aspirations of all Libyans to re-establish their sovereignty and choose their future peacefully through national elections," said the statement.

"It is crucial that all Libyan and international actors support steps toward full implementation of the Libyan ceasefire agreement...including the immediate opening of the coastal road and removal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries," the statement concluded.

A total 51 out of 72 LPDF members voted on Monday in favour of the mechanism agreed by its advisory panel in Geneva last week - almost 73% of the votes cast and well in excess of the 63% threshold set by the panel - the UN support mission to Libya said.

Under the approved mechanism, the electoral college in each of Libya's three main region names a representative to a three-member presidential council (government). A prime minister is to be chosen by the LPDF, with the successful nominee requiring 70% of votes.

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