Sirte, Libya_The coastal road that links western and eastern Libya along the Mediterranean will be officially opened Monday 21 June 2021, Major General Mukhtar Al-Nagasa told reporters Sunday in Sirte.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, announced the official opening of the coastal road between Sirte and Misrata only to be told by officers from the JMC that the “official” opening can only be ordered by the joint military commission which is due to meet the next day Monday.
Al-Nagasa, who is a member representing the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the Joint Military Commission 5+5 (JMC) established by Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020, stated that “the coastal road will be officially opened tomorrow, Monday, followed by the first phase of the expulsion of mercenaries and foreign fighters,” as quoted by Libya Al-Ahrar TV.
Al-Nagasa confirmed that all the ten members of the JMC have arrived in the city of Sirte along with the delegation of the United Nations’ mission to Libya who will take part in the official announcement of the opening of the coastal road.
He said that the process of opening the road from the west, which began on Sunday, was limited to the removal of the sand mounds along the road in preparation for the official announcement on Monday. Noting that the same action is being carried out from the eastern side.
Speaking to Libya 24 News Agency, Al-Nagasa stated that everyone has arrived in Sirte, even the police officers in charge of securing the road and that coordination among all related departments is proceeding smoothly and as agreed.
He pointed out that what is being circulated in the social media to create confusion about the safety of opening the road is mere lies as there, stressing the fact that everyone agrees with full conviction on reopening the coastal road and there are no threats.
“The JMC has been for quiet sometime working hard discussing and exploring with all parties how to approach the opening of the coastal road. All are assured, things are going as planned, the ceasefire is holding and, most important, the JMC is coherent and working in accordance with the agreements,” Al-Nagasa said as quoted by Libya 23 News Agency.
He also pointed out that the opening of the coastal road is a message directed internally and externally, and to the countries that will take part in the Second Berlin Conference that the war has ended in Libya, and that Libyans have opened a new page, and calling for the support of the participating countries to help Libya get the mercenaries out as soon as possible.
Reacting to the news of the opening of the coastal road on Sunday, the US Embassy in Libya issued a statement saying:
“The opening of the coastal road is significant and comes as the international community prepares to meet in Berlin. Libyans and foreign powers alike should focus on encouraging stability through acts like allowing this road to remain open and paving the path for Libyans to have full control over their own affairs, including elections in December”.