Libya's neighbours reject military intervention in the country

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Jan 2017

Libya's neighbours call for political dialogue to replace military action inside Libya, and for a new national unity government to be selected and afforded the confidence of parliament

Representatives of Libya's neighboring countries during a Cairo meeting on Saturday (Photo Courtesy of Egypt foreign ministry)

Representatives of Libya’s neighbours rejected Saturday any proposal of military intervention in the country. The rejection was voiced during a conference in Cairo held to discuss solutions for the ongoing Libyan crisis.

In a final statement of the ministerial meeting of countries neighbouring Libya, foreign ministers called on the Libyan Presidential Council to form a national unity government that would represent all political powers in Libya, and that it be given the confidence of the Libyan parliament.

The statement also underlined the principles of the Skhirat agreement, which was signed in Morocco in 2015, as the only way out to the Libyan crisis, asserting the necessity of keeping Libya stable, united, secure and civil, with full sovereignty over its lands, preservation of legitimate Libyan institutions, and keeping the Libyan army unified.

The foreign ministers attending the meeting also called for political dialogue instead of use of military force as a solution for the current crisis, while affirming that fighting terrorist groups in Libya should be done in accordance with international law.

The ministers also expressed concern about the humanitarian situation of the Libyan people, calling on the international community to coordinate with Libya's legitimate authorities to respond to human needs, especially the lack of medication and medical supplies.

Cairo’s Saturday meeting is the tenth meeting of the group of participating countries, which include Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Chad, as well as United Nations envoy Martin Kobler and a representative of the African Union.

Libya currently has two parliaments and two rival governments, which have effectively divided the country into east and west.

The parliament and interim government in the eastern part of the country refuses to endorse the UN-backed administration in Tripoli in the west, a prerequisite for the Tripoli camp to take sovereign control of the country.

There are currently five proposed amendments to the UN-brokered agreement, including a change in the makeup of the Libyan national dialogue committee to better balance the country's factions, a change in the duties of the army's top commander, and measures to maintain the independence of the armed forces and separate them from political conflicts. 

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