7 –13 October: Group of EU ambassadors meet with GNA

Oct 14, 2020 | International actors

On 10 October, a group of EU ambassadors met with Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj in Tripoli. The European delegation included the Ambassador and head of the European Union (EU) Mission to Libya along with the ambassadors from Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Finland, Poland, the Netherlands and Hungary. The ambassadors told Serraj that the agreement over the demarcation of maritime borders that the GNA had reached with Turkey last year ‘infringes upon the sovereign rights of third states, does not comply with the law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third states.’ They also reiterated the need to comply with the outcomes of the Berlin Conference of January 2020 and hinted that the EU would use further sanctions against those who were working to undermine security sector attempts, steal state funds or commit human rights abuses.

The same day, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) issued a press release stating that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) would be held through a series of online sessions as well as face-to-face meetings, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Video conferences were to begin on 26 October, and the first face-to-face meeting of the dialogue was to be held in early November in Tunisia. UNSMIL added that ‘the objective of the LPDF was to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible timeframe in order to restore Libya’s sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions.’

Also on 10 October, Acting Head of UNSMIL Stephanie Williams said the UN would hold direct, face-to-face talks in Geneva beginning on 19 October between delegations of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) established by the Berlin Conference on Libya of January 2020. The UN said these talks would ‘build on previous deliberations and on the recommendations that emerged from’ previous talks held in Hurghada, Egypt.

On 6 October, the United Nations adopted a proposal from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to postpone investigations into human rights violations in Libya by the UN Fact-finding Mission in Libya due to a lack of funds. On 5 October, the chairman of the fact-finding mission, Mohammed Aujjar, said the mission had been reassured by the internationally-recognised GNA that it would provide assistance and allow the mission to travel to territories under its control. Aujjar said the mission would hold those who had committed crimes and human rights violations in Libya accountable and hoped to ‘contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation in the country’. He also stressed the need for an adequate budget.