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The West calls on Libya to launch genuine national dialogue

Western countries expressed their concern over Libya and called on authorities in Tripoli to make a greater effort to launch real national dialogue, stressing that the progress made after the end of the dictatorship and the political and security situation in the country are "concerning".


Speaking during a conference in Rome yesterday, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said that the slow transitional process towards democracy is "hampering international efforts to provide assistance".

She also added: "No one can allow themselves to thwart the transitional phase", urging Libya to "make more effort to implement projects".

US Secretary of State John Kerry made a more optimistic statement saying; "It is a critical moment for Libya [who is] working on a new constitution and progressing towards reconciliation and organising elections." He also added that "the Libyans did not risk their lives in the 2011 revolution to return to the same brutality and violence."

His French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, said that the situation in Libya "is very worrying" due to the "uncertain security position, especially in the south, and an unstable political situation".

In terms of security, Fabius noted the French-German initiative to build and "guard" arms deposits in the large country, the borders of which are not subject to strict monitoring.

France and Italy praised the "success" of the Rome conference – which was preceded by the Paris conference last year – which was attended by over 40 delegations from various countries and international organisations, including, for the first time, China and Russia.

The situation in Libya was overshadowed by the current discussions regarding the crisis in Ukraine, especially due to the attendance of Kerry, Fabius, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Despite this, Fabius and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Libya Tarek Mitri considered the conference "beneficial".

Mitri explained that "the conference's message is especially political because even the security issue cannot only be viewed from a technical point of view", including the issue of training the police and army.

He also called for more national "political dialogue", pointing out that he received "a new mandate to reinforce his mission". Western diplomatic sources have stated that launching real national dialogue means "bringing all the concerned parties to the negotiating table" to overcome the "legitimacy hierarchy" problem between the government and tribal and local authorities.

On his part, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz said he is aware of the international community's aspirations, stressing that all the current institutions are represented by the Libyan delegations, including the General National Congress.

He went on to say that "we have come with a strong political commitment to continue the democratic process and establish institutions", noting that the country "was kidnapped for more than 40 years" by the Gaddafi dictatorship.

Abdulaziz also said that the institutions of the transitional government are continuing to prepare for legislative and presidential elections, as well as drafting a new constitution and that they are completely open to the international community's offer to provided assistance in government affairs.

Since Gaddafi's regime was overthrown in 2011, Libya has been witnessing serious political instability, tendencies towards separation and uncontrollable violence, making economic recovery impossible. In addition to this, a large number of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa pass through Libya heading towards Italy and France.

Italy remains closely tied to Libya as its former colony.

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