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 Full text 
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Situation in Libya (debate)

  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, at a time when the two sides in Libya were supposed to be sitting down to discuss a road map towards elections under a UN-mediated settlement, we are instead witnessing General Haftar’s LNA troops battling militarily for control of Tripoli. The British Government has warned that any LNA advance on Tripoli would be very damaging for the political and diplomatic solutions on offer and risk a descent into more widespread violence and chaos.

Prime Minister al-Sarraj of the UN-supported Government of National Accord in Tripoli has given further warnings that the advance on Tripoli risks sparking a fresh migration crisis in the Mediterranean if the situation worsens. With reports suggesting that many refugees are being forced to join the various militias operating throughout Libya, these warnings should not go unheeded.

Given the complexity of the situation and the multitude of actors involved, the way ahead is fraught with hazards. However, the UN-mediated talks are the only peaceful options still on the table. The EU and EU Member States must therefore do all they can to support these talks with one united voice.

To those who see in General Haftar a potential strong man who could consolidate power and bring order to that chaotic country, I would urge them to pay attention to the various reports in the public domain that question such simple assertions. Significant military and political opposition remains in his way and there is little evidence to suggest that he could easily hold the country together in the longer term.

Last updated: 9 July 2019Legal notice