By Sami Zaptia.
London, 17 April 2021:
In an explanation of the vote following yesterday’s adoption of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Libya in support of the UN-facilitated political process in Libya and Panel of Experts Mandate renewal, the U.S welcomed the strong resolution:
‘‘The United States commends the UK delegation as penholder on the two resolutions adopted today, particularly for the cooperative spirit in which they led the process. We also welcome the genuine commitment of members of this Council to crafting a strong resolution in support of the UN-facilitated political process in Libya and the extension of the UN Panel of Experts’ mandate as well as authorizations and sanctions measures related to illicit petroleum exports. Importantly, the Security Council has lent its voice to welcoming the new interim government, underscoring the importance of preparing for national elections on December 24 of this year, and clearly calling for foreign forces and mercenaries to depart the country without delay.
Over the last six months, we have observed and contributed to the positive momentum in Libya. This Council has backed Libya’s inclusive political progress through Security Council Press and Presidential Statements. The resolutions adopted today underscore and bolster our firm commitment to underpin continued progress and to hold accountable those who would attempt to derail the efforts Libyans are courageously making to prepare for elections, end the conflict, and establish peace and security in their country.
We must now ensure that forward progress does not falter. Libya’s interim Government of National Unity must focus on unifying institutions, delivering basic services, passing a national budget and transparently distributing resources, and, most critically, preparing for and organizing free and fair national elections on December 24, 2021. It is vitally important that Libyans establish the constitutional and legal basis for national elections without delay. By passing these resolutions, we have shown that the UN Security Council supports these efforts and expects the interim Government of National Unity and other Libyan institutions to meet their responsibilities, including adhering to the electoral timeline.
We also reiterate that all external actors involved in this conflict must cease their military intervention and withdraw from Libya immediately. The ceasefire agreement cannot be successfully implemented as long as foreign forces and mercenaries remain in Libya. In addition, all external military support inconsistent with the UN arms embargo must end – including the training and financing of mercenaries and proxy forces.
The United States remains firmly committed to Libya’s future, as evidenced by our favorable votes on these resolutions today. We believe that with the international community’s continued support, Libyans can bring a final end to years of conflict and carve out a new future for themselves. It is incumbent upon all of us to support the Libyan people as they continue down this peaceful path toward national elections on December 24.”