Ambassador Robert Wood said that the status quo in Libya is not stable, with heightened risks of partition, energy disruptions, further political strife, and violence. The only viable path to a durable peace in Libya is enabling the Libyan people to choose their own leaders in national elections. Now is the time to restore momentum. The United States endorses action by Special Representative Bathily and UNSMIL to directly address the electoral process via an UN-facilitated elections-enabling mechanism that will secure the resolution of the issues that stand in the way of elections in Libya. The SRSG has outlined an inclusive process that keeps key institutions and leaders at the table – however, there is no room for spoilers seeking to thwart the will of the Libyan people. Read more from the US Mission to the UN.
On February 24, 2023, the US-Libya Business Association hosted a roundtable discussion focusing on recent events in Libya featuring prominent Libya experts and American companies with a strong interest in the Libyan market. The discussion centered around the current political and security situation in Libya, including the recent P3+2+2 meetings in Washington, DC as well as the UNSC session on Libya held on Monday, February 27. Overall, the roundtable provided a valuable platform for discussing the current state of affairs in Libya and the opportunities and challenges for American businesses seeking to operate in the country.
Many thanks to our main presenter, Francesco Calzoni, Senior Manager and Libya researcher at Intelyse, as well as the many other esteemed analysts who offered their insights to the group.
In Washington, the United States hosted the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, and senior officials from Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Türkiye, the UAE, and the UK, to discuss the Libyan people’s demand for presidential and parliamentary elections. Ahead of his briefing to the UN Security Council, Special Representative Bathily updated participants on his consultations with Libyan leaders and institutions in order to promote consensus leading to elections in 2023. Participants took note of the achievements made by the Libyan House of Representatives and High Council of State in Egypt-facilitated negotiations on a constitutional basis for elections and consulted on the next steps in finalizing election preparations. In remarks to the visiting officials, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman underscored the U.S. agreement with SRSG Bathily that we should help make 2023 the year of free and fair Libyan elections. Read more from the US State Department.
USAID confirmed its willingness to provide assistance for Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC) in the area of managing and executing the upcoming elections, thereby bolstering their preparedness for the achievement of the democratic process in Libya. John Cardenas, the representative of USAID, accompanied by his deputy Nathan Park, paid a visit to the HNEC headquarters on Wednesday, in support of the international community’s efforts to encourage and facilitate democratic practices in Libya. The HNEC, for their part, expressed their gratitude towards the international community’s endeavors in bringing the transitional phase to a close and establishing a secure democratic state through a transparent electoral process. Read more from the Libya Herald.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Abdoulaye Bathily, held consultations in Berlin yesterday with the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, on the political and security situation in Libya, in the presence by the German government’s special envoy for the Libyan question, Christian Buck. The parties called on Libyan institutions to focus on preparing for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2023, urging the international community to unite in supporting the Libyan people’s aspirations to elect legitimate institutions. The German Foreign Ministry said in a message on its Twitter profile that the consultations discussed ways to help Libya find a way out of the political impasse and move towards elections. Read more from Libya Update.
The United States has stepped up pressure on Middle East allies to expel the Wagner Group, a military contractor with close ties to Russia’s president, from chaos-stricken Libya and Sudan where it expanded in recent years, regional officials told The Associated Press. The U.S. effort described by officials comes as the Biden administration is making a broad push against the mercenaries. The U.S. has slapped new sanctions on the Wagner Group in recent months over its expanding role in Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Biden administration has been working for months with regional powers Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to pressure military leaders in Sudan and Libya to end their ties with the group, according to more than a dozen Libyan, Sudanese, and Egyptian officials. They asked for anonymity to speak freely because they were not authorized to discuss the issue with the media. Read more from the AP.