[WATCH] Europe must ensure Libya does not end up a ‘foyer for terrorism’, Alfred Sant warns

Labour MEP Alfred Sant says Europeans must show they have welfare of Libyan people at heart not oil

Labour MEP Alfred Sant has cautioned against foreign interference in Libya but called on Europe to support the efforts of those inside the country who are seeking unity to end the instability
Labour MEP Alfred Sant has cautioned against foreign interference in Libya but called on Europe to support the efforts of those inside the country who are seeking unity to end the instability

Europe should not try to establish a regime in Libya that “it likes” but support forces within the country willing to end the instability, Alfred Sant said.

The former Maltese prime minister cautioned against foreign interference, which he blamed for the “anarchic situation” that prevails in the north African state.

But the Labour MEP insisted Europe must ensure that Libya does not end up as “a foyer for terrorism”.

Addressing the European Parliament plenary, Sant urged Europeans to demonstrate that their major interest in Libya was the welfare of the Libyan people not oil.

“For Europe, what is essential should be that Libya does not end up as a foyer for terrorism… we should support all efforts undertaken in good faith to allow all forces in Libya that represent genuine interests to have voice and reach,” Sant said.

However, he also warned that Europe must challenge the paralysis that is prevailing in how the Libyan people are proceeding to establish national institutions.

“Our support should go to those forces which are ready to unite in order to contain the existing anarchy, provide security to the Libyan people and move the country towards the stability that is essential if Libyan society is to function normally,” the Labour MEP said.

Fighting in Libya has escalated over the past two weeks as forces under the command of General Khalifa Haftar moved on Tripoli.

The World Health Organisation yesterday said the recent attacks on the outskirts of the Libyan capital have claimed the lives of 147 people and injured 614. Thousands have been displaced.

Sant told fellow MEPs that Libyans needed stability. “With stability, someday, later or sooner, peace and democracy might take root. Without stability, this will not happen.”

Haftar has so far ignored calls by the EU and others in the international community to stop his war on Tripoli.

The UN-backed Government of National Accord led by Fayez Serraj is based in Tripoli but depends on fragmented militias to enforce security on the little territory where it holds sway.

Haftar is allied with a rival administration based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

The war on Tripoli started on the day that UN secretary general Antonio Guterres was in Libya to conclude preparations for a national peace conference that was scheduled to be held this week. The conference was called off as a result of the current turmoil.

Libya has been riven by infighting since the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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