Monday, May 20

US Amb. to UN: Holding Elections as Planned, Exit of Foreign Troops Immediately

New York_ In remarks at a Security Council briefing on Libya on Friday, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Representative to the United Nations, was rather forceful and clear in demanding that general elections must take place as planned and foreign actors “involved in the conflict must cease their military interference and begin to withdraw from Libya immediately”.

“There is no room for interpretation here. All means all” she stressed.

Turkey, one of those actors who have military presence in Libya, has been hesitant to heed the international community’s call for the withdrawal of foreign troops, claiming that its presence in Libya cannot be compared to other mercenaries since its troops are in Libya at the invitation of the previous Government of National Accord.

But Ambassador Greenfield insisted that “all external military support inconsistent with the UN arms embargo must end. No more training and financing of mercenaries, proxy forces, and armed groups. The recent violent instability in Chad underscores the dangers of foreign mercenaries. They cannot remain in Libya.”

She urged the UN to identify all necessary and appropriate means “to fully support the Joint Military Commission’s efforts. We are encouraged by the JMC continuing to develop its plans for the ceasefire monitoring mechanism – in consultation with UNSMIL – including the deployment of a small number of observers”.

Ambassador Greenfield reiterated Washington’s position on the need for implementing UNSC resolutions related to all aspects of the current Libyan crisis including the October ceasefire agreement, protect human rights and combat corruption in Libya.

She also called on the Libyan leadership to clarify the constitutional basis for the election, pass the required legislation, and ensure elections are not delayed”. Adding, “Anyone who obstructs or undermines the elections planned for in the Libya Political Dialogue Forum roadmap may be subject to sanctions”.

“It’s time for the leadership of Libya to unify the budget, build anti-corruption institutions, and include Libyan civil society and women leaders in the political process”, she concluded.

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