Stability in Libya crucial for neighbours’ security

Much effort is being invested in the EU’s military intervention in international waters off the coast of Libya aimed at breaking the business model of human trafficking by smugglers

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Paul Cocks
30 April 2017, 2:57pm
Minister Carmelo Abela (left) with the EU's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and other officials at the conference
Minister Carmelo Abela (left) with the EU's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and other officials at the conference
Together with its Mediterranean and European partners, Malta stands ready to engage in doing whatever it takes, in consultation and cooperation with Libyan authorities, to help re-build the fundamental components of the Libyan State, minister for home affairs and national security Carmelo Abela told an interparliamentary conference on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

“Unfortunately there remains a great level of instability in Libya, since the Government of National Accord is still not completely exercising its effective authority,” he said. “Aside from being an essential pre-condition for the welfare of the Libyan population and the resurgence of the Libyan economy, stability in Libya is also fundamental for its neighbours’ security.”

The conference was organised in Malta by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Abela said that the EU had acted with determination to counter the instability in its proximity by engaging with affected countries by means of CSDP missions. 

At the same time the EU’s mechanism for peacekeeping also included a raft of measures whereby it analysed its crisis response tools, and constantly refined and updated them. 

With respect to Libya, CSDP action is conducted by an EU Border Assistance Mission to Libya (EUBAM Libya), in which Malta has participated. 

Currently, much effort is also being invested in the EU’s military intervention in international waters off the coast of Libya aimed at breaking the business model of human trafficking by smugglers, known as EUNAVFOR MED - Operation Sophia, in which Malta actively participates.

“The CSDP can act to provide direct benefits to crisis areas as well as visibility for the EU at the external level, especially in its immediate neighbourhood,” Abela said. “The CSDP provisions enable the Union to take a leading role in peacekeeping operations, in conflict prevention and in the strengthening of international security.”

The minister also referred to the EU Global Strategy set out in 2016, aimed at further stimulating the CSDP process and exploiting innovative approaches to countering crises and threats.

Work was still ongoing in terms of re-assessing internal mechanisms to ensure these are improved and strengthened, while also trying to deepen relations with existing partners such as the UN and NATO to act together with more effect in crisis areas where they are present. 

“I am confident that, if the EU continues its good work internally and with others it will consolidate its strengths and manage to go far towards more stability and peace”, Abela said.

The list of speakers at the conference included the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. 

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Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...