Peace in Libya only viable through a political process – UN envoy

The UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame meets Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela

Special Representative and Head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame
Special Representative and Head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame

Special Representative and Head of the UN support mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame, has praised Malta’s efforts in bringing to light the Libyan crisis in the EU.

Salame who was addressing a press conference with Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela, insisted that the Libyan crisis can only be resolved through a political process.

Asked what role General Khalifa Haftar should play in a solution to the Libyan crisis, Salame reiterated that only once a political course has been initiated that the question could be answered. 

Salame also said that the first step towards a situation of peace in Libya lies in having the current UN-backed truce turned into a permanent ceasefire.  

The UN representative also said that in order for Libya to move forward, the solutions must be spearheaded by Libyans themselves. 

“It is Libyans that must decide, no one should force anyone to sit down by force, but past experience in our work has shown that this can be achieved,” he stated. 

Salame also called upon the international community to refrain from being passive. 

“We must have an international community which properly enforces laws and regulations, when dealing with Libya,” he said. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela and Ghassan Salame
Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela and Ghassan Salame

On the other hand, Salame praised Malta’s efforts in pushing the agenda towards ending the crisis Libya.

“With Malta being in the EU, it holds a special importance in guiding the member states towards seeking a viable solution in Libya,” he said. 

According to Salame, the EU is the largest contributor to UN operations in Libya.

Malta believes there is no military solution for Libya

Abela reaffirmed Malta’s position on the Libyan crisis, echoing Salame’s statements of seeking a political solution. 

“Our position is clear – there can never be a military solution,” Abela said. 

Abela also made reference to Malta’s contribution in tackling the migrant crisis, stating that only a European effort can result in a solution. 

He also praised Salame’s work in Libya. “We hope to continue in our contribution towards helping Salame’s work in facilitating peace in Libya,” Abela stated.

More in World