The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Malta calls for EU unity in support of a concerted effort towards peace in Libya

Tuesday, 9 April 2019, 12:11 Last update: about 4 months ago

On Monday 8 April 2019, on behalf of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela who is currently leading a business delegation in Singapore at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the European Union Daniel Azzopardi referred to the latest developments in Libya which present us with extremely disconcerting circumstance. 

He stated that “Such circumstances call for level-headedness, restrained and conscious decision-making in favour of a peaceful political and diplomatic solution. This is the only road to peace.”

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The Malta Permanent Representative continued to state that it has never been more critical that we emphasise that a military solution is counterproductive to achieving peace and stability in Libya. 

Malta’s voice was added to that of the UN, the G7, as well as the many others in the international community who have made it clear that a military offensive is NOT the viable solution.  Coordinated international action in Libya is required under the auspices, and in support, of the UN.  Malta appealed to the Security Council, that it is imperative that the entire international community comes together in full unity to help re-instate and preserve peace and stability in Libya.

All international stakeholders, including the EU, who are able to exert pressure to prevent further escalation should do so. This is not an option, it is an obligation. The will is there, and the media pronouncements of this weekend clearly demonstrate that the international community is united in its desire to curb any recourse to military action.

He added that “this sense of goodwill needs to be translated into action”.

In this regard, Malta’s full support to the UN-led facilitation process on the basis of the UN’s recalibrated Action Plan on Libya was underscored for swift implementation. Permanent Representative Azzopardi commended the efforts of the UN Secretary-General Special Representative, Ghassan Salame, particularly following his statement last Saturday calling for perseverance towards the holding of the National Conference on Libya from 14 to 16 April 2019 in Ghadames. “It is certainly no mean feat that UNSMIL is actively and proactively working under the present conditions, including the call for a two-hour truce to evacuate the wounded following the clashes south of Tripoli”, he said.

Concluding his intervention noting two important elements on the need to make every possible effort to de-escalate for the safety of the Libyan people and also foreign residing/working in Libya, as well as the preserve the progress registered on the path towards national reconciliation, he also supported the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini in her call for an EU28 statement supporting peace and stability in Libya, in the coming days.

At the Foreign Affairs Council Meeting, the ministers also discussed the Peace Process in Afghanistan, the Eastern Partnership, a decade of which will be celebrated during the next Foreign Affairs Council Meeting in May in Brussels, and the situation in Venezuela.

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