Western countries endorse unity government for Libya

Nations, including US, back UN proposal and threaten to “isolate those who fail to respect the political agreement”.

Bernadino Leon
Leon, the UN envoy for Libya, said that the names of candidates for the national unity government have been decided [AP]

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Britain and the US have endorsed a national unity government in Libya, as proposed by the UN, to end the conflict between the two rival governments in the war-torn country.

The UN, which has been negotiating a peace agreement to form such a government, had been pushing hard for a deal before the parliament’s mandate ended on October 20 to prevent the country from falling deeper into chaos.

“Delays in forming a unity government will only prolong the suffering of the Libyan people and benefit terrorists seeking to take advantage of the chaos,” the nations said in a joint statement on Friday.

Libya has had rival administrations since August last year, when an alliance of militias from the city of Misrata known as Libya Dawn took over the capital, Tripoli.

The group drove out the internationally-recognised government, which now operates in the eastern city of Tobruk.

“The international community will stand with the Government of National Accord as it undertakes the hard work of restoring peace and stability to Libya and will isolate those who fail to respect the political agreement,” the statement said.

It added that no arms should enter Libya except at the request of the new government in accordance with the terms of the political agreement.

‘No more time to waste’

The UN had proposed the national unity government on Thursday to end the conflict between the competing administrations.

Bernardino Leon, UN envoy for Libya, told reporters that the names of candidates for the national unity government have been decided.

Leon said on Thursday that the prime minister for the new government would be Fayez Sarraj, a member of the Tripoli-based administration.

“We believe this list can work,” Leon said of the names, which include three deputies for the prime minister – representing the country’s east, west and south – and two ministers to complete a presidential council.

“All of them will work as a team,” Leon said. He added, “This was not an easy task.”

Negotiators who attended the peace talks in Morocco representing the rival governments approved the names of candidates, but the parliaments for both sides must approve them, too.

Four years after the uprising that toppled veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi, Western governments fear the struggle could turn the oil-producing North African country into a failed state.

The allies said they called on all Libyans, including political leaders, to support the settlement.
“There is no more time to waste,” the statement said.

Source: Reuters

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