The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

There is no military solution for Libya, only solution can be political - Carmelo Abela

Giulia Magri Wednesday, 21 August 2019, 16:13 Last update: about 27 days ago

Malta is against any form of military solution for Libya and that the only solution for Libya is a political one, explained Carmelo Abela Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion. “Currently there is no military solution, and we hope that in the not so distant future, we can look back at discussions held and find a political solution for the wellbeing of the Libyan people first and foremost.”

Abela was addressing a press conference with Special Representative and Head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame. The conference took place at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion. The minister expressed that Malta will continue to contribute and support the UN in the situation, and said that he was pleased with the works between Malta and Salame.

“Malta will support his and the UN’s work during this difficult situation, in a country which is so close to Malta,” Abela said. He added that currently there is a huge migration issue, seeing large number of migrants and refugees fleeing Libya and crossing Europe, a situation which hits close to home.

“Our role is not only to be of support but to raise the issue, especially within the Foreign Affairs Council and that as a country we did not hold back in raising the issue when it comes to the discussion on Libya.” Abela said that Malta will continue to push for discussions and provide the support to the UN on their work in Libya.

“We are ready to be of service to the United Nations.”

 

Malta has a special role in bringing attention to other EU states of what is happening in Libya

Special Representative and Head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame expressed that Malta has a special role of bringing the attention of other European states of the Libyan case, and the risks being taken for the security of the country. 

Reacting to Abela’s comment on military solution, Saleme continued that “military solution is an illusion, and a costly one at that.” He explained that after months of conflict, and over 1,200 people dead, the UN are finally coming close to going back to the processes of solving the Libyan crises. “I know that we can count on Malta as a country, willing to help, holds meetings and as member of the EU reminds others of the Union the crisis which Libya is undergoing.”

 

Is Libya safe enough? No; but we are working very hard in order to make it safer - Saleme

Answering journalists’ questions, Saleme explained that although currently Libya is not a safe country, it is his duty to continue working hard in order to make it safer.

“We are in a situation where there is war, human trafficking is still taking place, where treatment of migrants is not optimal. Although, I have to say that there are many reasons to be more optimistic to when I was six months ago.” Saleme explained that the flow of migrants into Libya today is much more manageable than before, and that the responsiveness of the Libyan authorities is much more parable to ideas than how it was in the past.  “More importantly not to be obsessed with the detention centres, which most of the international press is obsessed with them, where in reality only a few number of migrants are.”

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