European Union External Action

Speech of EEAS Deputy Secretary General - Ministerial Meeting of Libya’s Neighbouring Countries

Speech by EEAS Deputy Secretary General Ms Helga Schmid Eighth on behalf of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini 

Your Excellences',

On behalf of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, let me begin by expressing her regret for not being able to participate in this meeting in person. The EU warmly welcomes this invite and the opportunity to join the discussion with Libya's other neighbours at this crucial time for Libya's future. 

As others have said, the situation in Libya is grave. The continued political crisis, the lack of an unity-government and the divisions between political actors is of great concern to all of us.  Moreover, the most recent fightings have led to new displacements of the population in Libya, further aggravating an already precarious humanitarian situation. The people of Libya are the first victims of this crisis. Our first duty is to help them recover their freedom, safety and prosperity.

Let me underline that the humanitarian and security threats emanating from Libya affect us all. In one way or another, every one of us here today, as neighbours of Libya, are affected by the disorder and destabilisation taking place in the country.  It is therefore not only urgent, but imperative,  a political solution  is reached sooner rather than later.

I salute the efforts of the Libyan Political Dialogue and of the United Nations, which have done their utmost to help broker the Libyan Political Agreement, an agreement drawn up by representatives of all Libyan factions and which is open for all Libyan actors to join. This is a result which the EU, along with other neighbours, has consistently supported.  I pay particular tribute to the tireless efforts of the president of the Presidency council Faiez Serraj and to UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler, without whom much of the present progress could not have been achieved.

Now the Libyan Political Agreement needs to be implemented. This includes rapidly finalising the security arrangements that will allow the Presidency Council and the GNA to establish itself in the capital in a secure environment and to take effective control of all Libyan institutions, including financial and economic ones (Central Bank, National Oil Company, Libyan Investment Authority).

In these circumstances, it is vital that we all give this Government the best support we can, and that we multiply our efforts to encourage all Libyans to support it.  

We, Libya's neighbours and the international community, have a common objective to help Libyans re-establish a safe and secure country in which all of them can live in peace with each other, free from fear and able to prosper from their country's natural resources.

The European Union stands ready to extend its full support the Presidency council and the Government of National Accord, as the legitimate institutions emanating from the Libya political agreement. We are willing to help these institutions consolidate and implement all measures reached under the political agreement and to this end we stand ready to hold spoilers accountable.

Your Excellences',

In the current, dramatic situation the EU continues to support the Libyan population, by providing humanitarian assistance, by supporting migrants, internally displaced people and other vulnerable groups, as well as civil society organisations and human rights defenders.

We are also ready to assist Libya with a €100-million cooperation package, which includes technical assistance to strengthen the GNA's capacity; support to municipalities; health; migration and border management, as well as humanitarian assistance.  And at the Libyan authorities, request, we can provide further support to reform the security sector, notably through training and advice.

Let me conclude by reiterating our appreciation for being able to participate in this meeting, and for the opportunity give to demonstrate our shared determination to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous Libya.