By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 26 April 2016:
Italy again today poured cold water on continuing rumours that it plans military action in . . .[restrict]Libya with a statement by its special envoy, Giorgio Starace, that it will provide the Government of National Accord high-tech quipment and military training but that the fight against the Islamic State (IS) has to be carried out by Libyans alone.
Starace, along with EU ambassador Nataliya Apostolova and German ambassador Christian Much, was in Tripoli today for talks with the Presidency Council on European support for it and the Government of National Accord (GNA).
The visit follows the various separate ones in recent days of the Italian, French, German and British foreign ministers and of the ambassadors of France, Spain and the UK.
At a press conference at the Bu Setta naval base after talks with Presidency head Faiez Serraj and other members, all three repeated European promises to provide support for the GNA so that it could be more effective. For her part, Apostolova also offered the prospect of sanctions against House of Representatives president Ageela Saleh, Congress president Nuri Abu Sahmain and the Congress-appointed prime minister Khalifa Ghwell being withdrawn if their behaviours changed. Ambassador Much added that he was working to reopen the German embassy.
In a statement published this evening, Apostolova said that the Presidency Council had to assume its role as an executive authority as soon as possible. “There is no time to waste”, she stated, urging “all Libyan parties, institutions, armed groups and stakeholders” to ensure an orderly transition of power to the GNA.
Indicting that the EU considers the House of Representatives’ remit as expired and its legitimacy in future stemming purely from the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), she added: “We underscored the important role of the HoR and hope that it will very soon fulfil the role and responsibilities the Libyan Political Agreement has bestowed on it.
She also said that the EU “welcomed the establishment of the State Council” – despite the fact that for the State Council to exist in Libyan law, the HoR has to amend the 2011 Constitutional Declaration by incorporating the LPA. This has not yet happened. [/restrict]