Western — 23 May 2016

May 23, 2016 | International actors

Last week, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said that the Government of National Accord (GNA) is in a “period of intense dialogue” that could soon lead to an agreement in which US military advisers will be deployed to Libya, in addition to Special Forces already in the country.  “There’s a lot of activity going on underneath the surface,” he added. “We’re just not ready to deploy capabilities yet because there hasn’t been an agreement. And frankly, any day that could happen.”  Following his meeting with NATO leaders, Dunford predicted that, “there will be a long-term mission in Libya,” saying the operation would likely focus on training and equipping militias that support the GNA.

Following a request by GNA Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on 23 May, the European Union agreed to step up its naval operations off the coast of Libya.  Operation Sophia will be tasked with training Libya’s coastguard and navy, as well as potentially policing the current UN arms embargo once a Security Council resolution is issued.

The Presidential Council security committee chief Abdurrahman Al Tawil has requested that foreign embassies return to Tripoli, following their withdrawal en masse in July 2014. Tawil announced that the GNA has developed plans to secure embassies and other diplomatic premises in the capital. However, most foreign missions have indicated that they will not to return to Tripoli until the entire city is deemed safe.