European Union External Action

EU calls for halt to hostilities and all outside interference in Libya

07/01/2020 - 20:20

The High Representative and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom called for a ceasefire in Libya and an end to any outside interference. EU Foreign Ministers will also discuss the situation at an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council scheduled for Friday.

"We agreed that the overriding urgency is to stop the fighting in and around Tripoli and asked for an immediate cessation of hostilities," said High Representative Josep Borrell after a meeting with the four foreign ministers in Brussels today.

"Any escalation and also any outside interference will only make the conflict more protracted, bring more misery to ordinary people in Libya, exacerbate divisions in the country, increase the risk of its partition, spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism," he added.

Borrell said the situation is worsening day by day and the only solution in Libya has to be a political negotiation among the parties. "The European Union is not using force, it is using diplomatic activity, it is preaching the rule of law and we are asking for a diplomatic solution on the understanding that there is no military solution in Libya" Borrell stressed again. For this reason, the four ministers expressed strong support to the UN mediation efforts and the Berlin Process. A Joint Statement was agreed upon, calling for an immediate stop to any further escalation of violence and to the increasing external interference. "The more the Libyan warrying parties rely on foreign military assistance, the more they give external actors undue influence on sovereign Libyan decisions, to the detriment of the country's national interests and of regional stability," the Joint Statement reads.

The HRVP and the ministers have also called for a strict respect of the arms embargo declared by United Nations.

Next Friday, at an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council called to discuss ongoing developments in the Middle East and North Africa, including the situation in Libya, the High Representative will discuss with the rest of the EU Member States how to take any EU action further.

"As you know, Libya is a priority for the European Union and we will be actively engaged with all relevant actors in our efforts to stop the hostilities and achieve the resumption of a political dialogue," the High Representative added.

The High Representative and the Foreign Ministers were originally scheduled to travel to Tripoli, Libya. However, the trip was cancelled due to security concerns and the meeting was held in Brussels instead.