Speech by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, at the Libya Stability Support Conference (Tripoli, 21 October 2021)


Secretary-General, Special Envoy,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We’re gathered in Tripoli today at your invitation, Minister, to see how far things have come over the past few months and continue along this path, the one towards Libya’s stability.

Since my last visit to Tripoli more than six months ago with my Italian counterpart, Luigi di Maio, who is alongside us today, and with our German colleague, the progress made on the political and security fronts has been remarkable. The transitional authorities of the Government of National Unity have played their full role, and their continued action along these lines will be decisive for the next stage. For our part, it is up to us to help the Libyans achieve the goals they set themselves in the framework of the October 2020 ceasefire agreement and the Political Dialogue Forum. With our support, Libyans will be able to seize the historic opportunity which exists today to regain peace, sovereignty and shared prosperity.

On the political front, the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December is now within reach following the adoption of the legal basis necessary for their organization, and following the Libyan authorities’ statements today, whose value we appreciate. The international community is fully mobilized on this issue, as we recalled in New York at the ministerial meeting co-chaired last month by France, Germany and Italy. In particular, we wholeheartedly support the High National Elections Commission, which is now finalizing the timetable which will determine the next stage of the political process. In this respect, I welcome the efforts of its chairman, Mr Emad Sayeh, who has been working for months, in accordance with the Libyan road map endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, on the organization of inclusive, credible, transparent elections. He can count on the support of the European Union, which stands ready to provide its support for the electoral process at the Libyan authorities’ request. He can also count on the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Libya, as the Under-Secretary-General recalled. The fact that nearly 3 million Libyans have registered to vote is a clear sign of their desire to complete their country’s political transition. It is therefore now imperative that the parliamentary and presidential elections can be held as scheduled and that the people’s choice, when it is expressed, is respected.

At security level the Libyans, meeting on the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, have agreed on a plan for the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries. This plan testifies, once again, to the Libyans’ clear desire to regain control over their destiny, away from all foreign interference. I welcome this commitment and reaffirm France’s full support. The Libyans’ aspirations to sovereignty coincide with the security interests of the whole region, from the Sahel to North Africa and Europe.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Following the progress I have just mentioned, a number of steps have yet to be taken to ensure the Libyan transition is completed. All Libyan stakeholders committed to the political transition must know they can count on the support of Libya’s international partners and on their unity. I shall constantly seek to ensure this, in liaison with my European colleagues in particular.

In this spirit, the French President will host an international conference for Libya in Paris on 12 November 2021. The Paris conference will bring together, with the Libyan transitional authorities, the heads of State and government of the countries invited to the Berlin conferences, in a format that will, for the first time, be broadened to all the countries in Libya’s neighbourhood. The Paris conference, which will be organized in close liaison with the United Nations and co-chaired by France, Italy and Germany, will provide an opportunity to give the final international boost necessary to support the elections at the end of the year, and to help ensure favourable conditions exist for these elections to be held and their result respected. It will endorse the Libyan plan for the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries and will support its implementation, in order to end foreign interference. Finally, in the presence of the countries concerned, it will fully take into account the regional dimension of the Libya crisis and its consequences for Libya’s neighbourhood.

With this in mind, and to enable a line to be finally drawn under the Libya crisis after a decade of instability, we are counting on the commitment of the interim authorities and all Libyan stakeholders, and on the commitment and unity of Libya’s partners. France will deliver, as I am convinced all of you will. Thank you."