Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi and Tobruk on September 4 in follow-up to the Celle-Saint-Cloud declaration of July 25 in order to encourage dialogue and to support the mediation efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya Ghassan Salamé.
In this regard, he met with Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, President of the High Council of State Abdulrahman Asswehly, Speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives Aguilah Saleh, General Khalifa Hifter, Commander of the National Libyan Army, as well as the mayor of Misrata and civilian and military representatives, including those involved in operation al-Bunyan al-Marsous which led to the liberation of Sirte.
He discussed the situation of migrants in Libya with the representatives of the International Organization for Migration and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as with the minister of the interior of the Government of National Accord. In Tunis, he met with Ghassan Salamé, on the eve of his visit to Libya, in order take stock of UN-led mediation efforts and the discussions between the special representative and the various Libyan parties. He also met with Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui, whose country is on the front line of the Libyan crisis.
All of Mr. Le Drian’s interlocutors, including the speakers of both houses, welcomed the outcome of the meeting in La Celle Saint-Cloud. Mr. Serraj and Mr. Hifter confirmed their commitment to upholding the points agreed upon in the July 25 declaration. The meeting on July 25 led to a joint declaration on several key points: the resumption of the national reconciliation process involving all Libyans and the affirmation that the solution can only be a political one; a ceasefire and the renunciation of the use of armed force if not strictly related to counter-terrorism efforts; making the inter-Libyan Skhirat Agreement operational by implementing the necessary changes; the unification of the armed forces under civilian authority and the holding of elections.
During his visit, Mr. Le Drian reaffirmed that building the capacity of the Libyan state and national reconciliation are priorities for effectively combating the terrorist groups, dismantling the network of traffickers and improving the conditions of migrants, while respecting human rights. He assured his interlocutors that France would continue its cooperation on the security, humanitarian and stabilization fronts in support of these priorities.
Mr. Le Drian announced to the Libyan authorities a new $1 million contribution to the Libya Stabilization Fund as well as humanitarian and stabilization projects in the areas of mine clearance and the rehabilitation of war wounded.
France calls on all Libyan parties to remain fully committed to the political dialogue in order to make the necessary changes to the Skhirat Agreement before the December 17 deadline set by the agreement. France is lending its full support to the efforts of Mr. Salamé, who has visited a large number of Libyan parties across the country in order to push ahead with the resumption of the political process.