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US Congress approves Libya Stabilisation Act

November 20, 2020 at 3:02 am

US Congress on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, on 6 December 2019 [Wikipedia]

US Congress passed a law on Wednesday to support Libya’s stability and impose sanctions on parties fuelling the conflict in the country. Currently, talks are being held between the warring parties to agree on new terms to rule the state in preparation for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Ted Deutch, head of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, tweeted on Wednesday that the Libyan Stabilisation Act aims to: “Support diplomacy, provide assistance and support the elections.”

Deutch also confirmed that the law intends to: “Punish those who are fuelling the conflict, and confirms the interest of Congress in achieving stability in Libya and bringing peace to all Libyans.”

European support

The US position has been supported by Europe, as on Wednesday the European mission to Libya confirmed the European Union (EU)’s support for the upcoming elections in Libya.

This came in statements made by head of the mission, Jose Antonio Sabadell, during his meeting with head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, according to a statement issued by Al-Sarraj’s media office, of which Anadolu Agency obtained a copy.

READ: Isn’t it time to form new alliances across the Middle East?

According to the statements, Sabadell praised: “Sarraj’s efforts to ensure security and stability in his country, and the government’s commitment to the UN resolutions and the outcomes of the Berlin conference.”

The statement indicated that Al-Sarraj appreciates the EU efforts to support the process and the decision to hold elections, stressing that: “The Government of National Accord adheres to national principles and guidelines to address the situation in Libya in order to establish a modern civilian state.”

Tunisia’s Forum: 

On Sunday, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) held in Tunis under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), and during which the date was set for holding elections in Libya, concluded its work.

While the Libyan parties agreed to hold general elections on 24 December, 2021, other issues remain pending, awaiting a second round via video conferencing next week.

On Monday, Al-Sarraj welcomed the agreement reached during the LPDF to hold presidential and legislative elections by the end of 2021.

Libya has been suffering for years from an armed conflict, as General Khalifa Haftar’s militia, with the support of Arab and Western countries, contests the internationally-recognised government over legitimacy and authority, resulting in the deaths and injuries of civilians, as well as extensive material damage.

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