The League of Arab States (LAS), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) held a meeting at the headquarters of the League of Arab States on 18 March 2017 to discuss the situation in Libya and further coordinate their efforts in order to advance the political process and assist Libya in its democratic transition.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the AU High Representative for Libya former President Jakaya Kikwete, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission Ms. Federica Mogherini, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Mr. Martin Kobler.
The League of Arab States, the African Union and the United Nations welcomed the participation of the European Union in the meeting and decided to expand the Troika that was established between them on 25 October 2016 and form a Quartet among the four organizations to coordinate their efforts and elaborate a complementary international and regional approach to support Libya in addressing the political, security and economic challenges it faces.
The Quartet reiterated their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya and its institutions under the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat. They underscored the urgent need for a Libyan-led peaceful resolution of the situation and reiterated their rejection of the threat or use of armed force by the Libyan parties as well as any foreign military intervention in Libya.
The Quartet strongly condemned all outbreaks of violence, including the armed attacks in the Oil Crescent that began on 3 March. The Quartet called for the immediate cessation of military operations, the de-escalation of the situation and the need for all parties to refrain from any measures that could further exacerbate the situation on the ground. The Quartet called on all Libyan parties to preserve Libya’s economic and oil infrastructure, and stressed the need for a unified and capable National Oil Corporation that must continue to be allowed to exercise its full responsibilities over all oil facilities throughout the country. They emphasized that Libya’s national oil and wealth must be used for the benefit of all Libyans and channeled through legitimate Libyan mechanisms.
The Quartet also expressed their serious concern about the recent escalation of violence in Tripoli. They took note of the ceasefire declared on 15 March and called for the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord to assert its control of the security situation throughout the city in accordance with the provisions of the LPA.
The Quartet emphasized that these developments should not undermine the important steps taken by the Libyan parties, supported by international and regional efforts, to forge a broad based and inclusive consensus towards the implementation of the LPA.
The Quartet resolved for this purpose to continue to exert their efforts to encourage the Libyan parties to fulfill their responsibilities under the LPA.
The Quartet reaffirmed their commitment to working together in a coordinated and complementary manner to advance the UN facilitated political process to implement the LPA, which continues to provide the framework for a comprehensive solution, and support the internationally recognized Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.
The UN, along with other members of the Quartet, stand ready to support any inclusive mechanism agreed upon by Libyan stakeholders which is representative and able to resolve the outstanding issues. The Quartet resolved for this purpose to undertake joint efforts in support of this process by encouraging all Libyan stakeholders to engage, in good faith, in constructive and inclusive political dialogue to address the core issues in order to fully implement the LPA.
The Quartet commended the various regional efforts undertaken to broaden the required consensus among the key Libyan stakeholders within the overall framework of the LPA and recognized the important role played by the Neighboring States Mechanism in support of the political process.
The Quartet recognized the important role of the African Union and welcomed its decision to expand the AU High Level Committee (AUHLC) on Libya to include all the neighboring states in its membership in line with the recommendation adopted by the AUHLC at its Summit in Brazzaville on 27 January 2017. They looked forward to the visit by the AUHLC foreign ministers to Libya in April 2017.
The Quartet recognized the responsibility of the League of Arab States to promote a peaceful resolution of the situation in Libya, and welcomed its continued efforts to encourage the Libyan parties to fulfill their commitments in an inclusive and consensual manner under the LPA.
They recognized the important role of the European Union and its contribution to the efforts of the Quartet, and welcomed its support for advancing Libya’s inclusive democratic transition, stabilization and rehabilitation efforts, including through its multi-sectoral assistance package of over 120 million euros and cooperation with Libyan authorities and institutions to enhance their capacity to address the challenges of illegal migration.
The Quartet stressed that there can be no military solution to the conflict and that the current situation and political impasse can only be resolved through dialogue and the commitment by all Libyan parties and stakeholders to consensually resolve their differences within the framework of the LPA. They underlined the importance of a cohesive and professional Libyan military operating under a unified chain of command as mandated by the LPA, and stressed the need to address this priority issue within an inclusive political dialogue among the parties concerned.
The Quartet expressed their serious concern about the threat that terrorism poses to Libya, neighboring countries and the region. They commended Libyan determination in fighting terrorism in Sirte, Benghazi and elsewhere, and expressed their full support for continued Libyan efforts in the fight against terrorism throughout the country.
The Quartet agreed to enhance coordination between their respective border security initiatives and efforts in support of Libyan and regional measures to improve border security with a view towards developing a holistic approach that addresses the needs of both border authorities and affected communities.
Cairo, 18 March 2017