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Official speeches and statements - July 9, 2020

Published on July 9, 2020

1. United Nations - Libya - Statement by the permanent representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council (New York - July 8, 2020)

Mr. President,

I am delivering this speech on behalf of Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. I thank the Secretary-General for his presence and for his briefing. For France, there are two priorities today in Libya:

First, it is more urgent than ever that foreign interferences in the Libyan conflict cease.

The risks of regional escalation and a "Syrianisation" of Libya are real. Despite the relative calm and the stabilization of the front line on the Sirte-Joufra axis, the continued military reinforcement of both camps is worrying. A further deterioration of the security would threaten Libya’s interests and risk destabilizing its neighbors and Europe. It would also undermine progress in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel.

Foreign interferences in Libya must stop and the arms embargo, established by this Council, must be fully respected. France reiterates its full support for the EUNAVFORMED-IRINI operation deployed by the European Union to ensure the implementation of the embargo, in which we actively participate. This operation is aimed at preventing all violations, in an impartial manner, whatever their origin and whoever their beneficiaries may be. The European Union ensures the implementation of the embargo in the framework of the mandate of this Council. It is important in this context to avoid any incident of the kind we have recently experienced as a result of dangerous manoeuvres by the Turkish navy.

We remain very concerned about the repeated violations of the embargo, in contradiction of the commitments made at the Berlin Conference and in violation of Resolution 2510 adopted by this Council, which applies to everyone, Turkey like Russia being no exception.

Second, the end of hostilities is essential to create the conditions necessary for the effective resumption of the inter-Libyan political dialogue.

There is an urgent need to transform the current freeze into a solid truce and to make progress towards a lasting and credible ceasefire in the framework of the 5+5 Military Committee under the aegis of the United Nations support mission in Libya. This agreement must provide, in particular, for the withdrawal from all parts of Libya of all foreign forces, mercenaries and military equipment delivered in violation of the resolutions of this Council, the disarmament of the militias and a monitoring mechanism by the United Nations.

Those are the messages that Minister Le Drian conveyed to the Libyan actors in his calls to the various parties last week. In particular, he called on them to adopt a balanced negotiating position within the framework of the 5+5 Military Committee, at a time when some, both inside and outside Libya, are tempted to continue the offensive.

All efforts to promote a political solution, including the Egyptian initiative announced on June 6, should be encouraged. Any initiative in support of a ceasefire agreement and a negotiated political settlement of the Libyan crisis must be fully inclusive and resolutely consistent with the principles of the Berlin Conference, which remains the only viable international framework.

It is also important to make progress in establishing a credible mechanism for monitoring Libyan oil revenues to ensure that they benefit the Libyan people and are not diverted to militias.

Finally, we call on the Secretary-General to appoint a new Special Representative as soon as possible. It is high time for the members of this Council to act constructively. Despite the efforts and remarkable work of Ms. Stéphanie Williams, whom I commend, the vacuum left by the departure of Ghassan Salamé nearly five months ago can only fuel a deleterious dynamic.

Mr. President,

France does not choose one side or the other in Libya and has always said that there will be no military solution to this conflict. Together with its partners in the European Union, it will remain fully committed and mobilized in the service of the Libyan people to find a political solution to this conflict in conjunction with all the Libyan parties and its partners in the region.

Thank you.

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