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Declaration by the High Representative Joseph Borrell, on behalf of the European Union, on the situation in Libya

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 27 maart 2020.

The European Union and its Member States regret that the fighting has increased in Libya despite the international calls for a humanitarian truce to help contain the Coronavirus pandemic in the country. The challenging circumstances created by the Coronavirus pandemic make the need to halt the fighting in Tripoli and across the country even more urgent. We strongly condemn any attack against civilian population.

We urge all the relevant Libyan actors to immediately stop the fighting and engage in reaching a political solution to the crisis. The leadership of the two parties should commit to the draft ceasefire agreement developed by the Joint Military Committee (“5+5”) in the UNSMIL-facilitated Geneva talks, so that all available assets can be deployed in priority to contain the Coronavirus crisis.

We condemn the use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes and call on all parties to respect human rights and international law. A truce would facilitate taking all the necessary steps to protect the Libyan population and the most vulnerable in the country, including the Libyan IDPs as well as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the detention centres, for whom the possible spread of the virus could have further catastrophic consequences. We strongly support and encourage efforts of Libyan health authorities to come together to assist the Libyan population. Health workers should be protected at all times.

We call once again on all UN Member States to respect and uphold the UN arms embargo, to discontinue the influx of foreign fighters into Libya and to refrain from destabilising actions that could further deteriorate the already fragile situation in the country.

All the Libyan parties need to engage constructively in the UN-facilitated intra-Libyan talks in order to agree on the implementation of urgent economic and financial measures, including the audit of the Central Bank of Libya and its branch in the East.

It is also crucial to safeguard Libya’s oil resources and protect its infrastructure in full compliance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Oil production should resume under the auspices of the National Oil Company (NOC) as a matter of urgency and its equitable distribution among all Libyan regions and in the interest of all Libyans should be ensured.

On their side, the European Union and its Member States reiterate their full commitment to support the Berlin Process and the UN-led mediation efforts. They are ready to deploy all the instruments necessary to ensure full implementation of the Berlin Conference Conclusions, including through the new Common Security and Defence Policy operation EUNAVFOR MED-IRINI. They recall the important role of neighbouring countries and regional organisations in the follow-up of the Berlin Process. They also reaffirm their full support to the active role of the UNSMIL and underline the need for a new United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya to be appointed.

The Candidate Countries Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania[1], the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

[1]The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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