Linda Thomas-Greenfield: A political solution in Libya is possible, necessary and urgent

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, told a UN Security Council Briefing on Libya on Thursday that “a political solution in Libya is possible. It is necessary and it is urgent.” But it requires elections on December 24, as planned.

Newly appointed Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabeiba addresses members of the Libyan House of Representatives, a day before his cabinet secured a vote of confidence from the body, in Sirte, Libya, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. © 2021 AP Photo/Hakim al-Yamani 
Newly appointed Libyan Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah addresses the Libyan parliament a day before his his cabinet secured a vote of confidence from the body, in Sirte, Libya, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The newly appointed interim government is to lead the war-wrecked country through elections at the end of the year. (AP Photo/Hakim al-Yamani)

“Parties must come together to ensure that happens by putting needed legal and constitutional frameworks in place. National elections will advance both democratic progress and Libyan unity, by allowing the seven million Libyans throughout the country to have a voice in shaping Libya’s future. These elections must not be delayed. The electoral process must be Libyan-owned, Libyan-led, and free from foreign interference or malign influence,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

She added: “It is clear that the international community expects national elections to take place – as agreed to in the roadmap adopted by the Libya Political Dialogue Forum. To go from roadmap to reality, constitutional and legislative arrangements must be adopted.”

Read her full remarks below

Thank you, Mr. President, for chairing today’s meeting. And thank you to Special Envoy Kubis for your very, very useful briefing. I would like to join others in welcoming the presence of the Cabinet Minister from Kenya, the Minister of Foreign Affairs from Tunisia, the Libyan Prime Minister, Foreign Minister from Germany, and the Secretary-General of the Arab League.

Mr. President and Council members, a political solution in Libya is possible. It is necessary and it is urgent. But it requires elections on December 24, as planned. Parties must come together to ensure that happens by putting needed legal and constitutional frameworks in place. National elections will advance both democratic progress and Libyan unity, by allowing the seven million Libyans throughout the country to have a voice in shaping Libya’s future. These elections must not be delayed. The electoral process must be Libyan-owned, Libyan-led, and free from foreign interference or malign influence.

Many of us here participated at the Second Berlin Conference a few weeks back. We were pleased to see such a robust turnout, including the participation of the interim Libyan government itself. Berlin was successful in demonstrating a resounding commitment to support national elections on December 24, echoing Resolution 2570, adopted unanimously by this Council in April.

It is clear that the international community expects national elections to take place – as agreed to in the roadmap adopted by the Libya Political Dialogue Forum. To go from roadmap to reality, constitutional and legislative arrangements must be adopted. I can’t say that more clearly. In recent weeks, we have seen the LPDF continue discussions on the path forward to elections, under the facilitation of UNSMIL and Special Envoy Kubis. He has described for us today those efforts and he has called on all parties to do the necessary to achieve the elections. It is essential that the members of the LPDF rededicate themselves to these discussions.

This Council must also continue to support efforts to resolve the issues surrounding military de-escalation and call for the immediate departure of foreign forces and mercenaries. We must again stress the importance of full implementation of the ceasefire agreement. Which, as Mr. Kubis has stated, threatens the ceasefire. A Libyan-led, Libyan-owned ceasefire monitoring mission will have an important role in verifying the departure of mercenaries and eventually other foreign forces. To that end, we are encouraged that the Joint Military Commission is developing its plans for the ceasefire monitoring mechanism in consultation with UNSMIL – including the small number of observers already deployed.

The international community clearly and fully supports the Libyan people on their road to national elections. Now, we must do everything we can to help ensure potential spoilers – both internal and external – do not derail months of hard-fought progress. Mr. President, in this final stretch, it is incumbent upon all of the parties to support the Libyan people.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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