UNSC backing of initiative to form Libyan team to prepare for polls undermines state institutions’ role: Egypt

Amr Kandil , Thursday 16 Mar 2023

The UN Security Council’s support of an initiative aiming at forming a high-level Libyan team to follow up and prepare for elections in Libya is a “clear violation” of the role of the legitimate and elected Libyan state institutions, Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Spokesman Ahmed Abu-Zeid stressed on Thursday.

Ahmed Abu Zeid
Ahmed Abu Zeid, the new spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Egypt regrets the Security Council’s encouragement of such initiative in a presidential statement issued by the global body on Libya yesterday, Abu-Zeid said in remarks reported by Egyptian state’s news agency MENA.

The spokesman also expressed regret for UNSC’s support for “vague initiatives with undefined criteria and objectives in an attempt to legitimise their work.”

Abu-Zeid also criticised the presidential statement’s use of ambiguous terms, including "security actors," warning that this makes room for speculations and contradiction with the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The encouragement of such initiatives would also increase the state of division and rivalry in Libya and undermine the chances of holding presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible within the framework of a Libyan national consensus, Abu-Zeid warned.

Egypt has frequently called for fulfilling the necessary frameworks to hold the Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously and as soon as possible under the supervision of a neutral executive authority that upholds the supreme interests of the Libyan state.

Egypt has also affirmed that it looks forward to seeing the Libyan House of Representatives, as the only elected legislative body in Libya, and Council of State completing their efforts in preparing electoral laws.

In February, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned against attempts by external parties to divert Libya's political process to suit their interests.

In a meeting with UN Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily, Shoukry also stressed the necessity of not allowing "any internal Libyan party to hijack the political process through imposing a fait accompli."

Libya has witnessed a political stalemate since it failed to hold long-awaited elections in December 2021.

The country is currently divided between two rival governments; one based in Tripoli, led by Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, and the other appointed by the east-based parliament and led by Fathi Bashagha.

Egypt backs the government of Bashagha and has labeled Dbeibah’s Government of National Unity (GNU) as outgoing.

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