8 May – 14 May: European Union calls for an immediate ceasefire

May 14, 2019 | International actors

On 10 May, the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Serraj, concluded a visit to the heads of state in Germany, France, Italy and the UK in an attempt to win support for the GNA against the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) assault on Tripoli. Serraj urged the international community to insist the LNA return to the positions it held prior to the assault on the capital as a pre-condition for starting negotiations and insisted that eastern Libya must appoint new officials and dignitaries to participate in any future reconciliation efforts.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are reported to have rebuffed Serraj’s stance and requested he abides by the terms agreed upon in the “Abu Dhabi Agreement” – a political settlement for a national unity government that includes LNA leader Khalifa Haftar, with presidential and legislative elections held by the end of the year. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reiterated Italy’s position that “there is no military solution” to Libya’s crisis and stated he also planned to meet with Haftar. British Prime Minister Theresa May stated the UK would continue to seek consensus for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council (UNSC) and stressed the need to return to the UNSMIL political process. In addition, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK does not exclude Haftar from having “a role in a future Libyan government.”

On 10 May, the UNSC held an emergency session focusing on the instability in Libya and the need for humanitarian action. The UNSC expressed the need for all sides to return to the political process fostered by UNSMIL.

On 13 May, the European Union Council released a statement following its Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) calling for an immediate ceasefire and reiterating that there was no military solution to the Libyan crisis. It urged all parties to stop any actions threatening the political process and to recommit to a political solution. The statement called the LNA’s assault on Tripoli a “threat to international peace and security.”

On 13 May, the UN Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, met with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss Libya. Stoltenberg said NATO fully supports the UN’s efforts to broker a truce, and will continue to call for all parties to end the fighting and re-join the UN political process.