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Libyan government seeks to calm the situation as neighbouring states call for dialogue

July 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Libyan Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thani expressed deep regret at the events taking place in Tripoli International Airport and other sites near the city which have resulted in a number of deaths and injuries, Libya’s state news agency LANA reported yesterday.

Al-Thani’s remarks came during his meeting with representatives of the United Nations, the Arab League and the European Union as well as the ambassadors of Italy, France and Germany and the charge d’affaires at the British Embassy.

He said: “The government is working hard to reach a ceasefire between the disputing parties and to maintain the voice of reason and dialogue, especially since the Libyan society has just departed from years characterised by dictatorship and autocracy and began to establish a state of law and institutions.”

The visiting delegates and ambassadors expressed their concern for the development of events in the country and stressed the readiness of their organisations and governments to provide a helping hand to adjust the security and stability in Libya and warned from the repercussions of the closure of Tripoli International Airport and disconnecting Libya from the world, stressing that they will spare no effort in helping Libya recover peace and security.

Meanwhile, at the conclusion of a two day meeting in Tunis yesterday, Libya’s neighbours called for a stop in military operations in the country and for national dialogue to be launched.

In a joint statement the participants stressed “the need for a full cessation of military operations in Libya” and urged “all political parties to resolve their differences through dialogue and to pursue the path of compromise”.

The meeting was attended by the foreign ministers of Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Chad and the assistant foreign minister of Egypt as well as the Charge d’Affaires of Libya in Tunisia and representatives from the African Union and the Arab League. The participants stressed “the need to address and suppress the hotbeds of terrorism in Libya which represent a source of concern for Libya and its neighbouring countries” and called on moderate religious institutions in neighbouring countries to coordinate with one another and to assume their responsibilities in the dissemination of moderate religious discourse.

They also announced the establishment of a “working group on the security experts’ level led by Algeria aimed at following-up with military and security issues, including border control”. The group will help “develop a specific position regarding the collection of heavy weapons based on an approach designed to deal seriously with this issue which threatens the security and stability in Libya and neighbouring countries”.

They also announced the establishment of a “political team at the senior level led by Egypt to address the political issues including contacting political parties and civil society components in Libya.” The participants announced “the formation of a ministerial committee of the neighbouring countries which will visit Libya in the near future to meet with the Libyan government and other actors to promote a comprehensive national dialogue between Libyans.”

Egypt has proposed to host the next foreign ministers meeting in August.

Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for neighbouring countries, Mohamed Badr Al-Din Zayed told AFP: “The challenge we face today is the fast developing events in Libya which will burden the second committee led by Egypt.”

Flights from Misrata International Airport have been suspended “for technical reasons” after the airport in closed following bloody confrontations, according to an aviation source.

The source said, “Libya is nearly isolated from the world”, noting that the closure of Tripoli airport may continue.

Meanwhile, medical and security sources said at least five people were killed and nine wounded in the Benghazi after fierce battles between security forces and armed militias.