EU Foreign Affairs Council, 6 February 2017:
1. Efforts to stabilise Libya are now more important than ever, and the EU will do its utmost to contribute to that objective. The EU remains committed to an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), and to supporting the Presidency Council (PC) and the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, and backed by the United Nations. It welcomes their efforts to restore unified governance, prosperity and security to Libya. Recalling UNSCR 2259 and subsequent resolutions, the EU recognises the PC and the GNA as the sole legitimate government authorities under the LPA that we fully support as the framework within which to find concrete solutions to current issues in Libya. The EU commends ongoing efforts to bridge political differences and make the Libyan institutions more representative, efficient and capable of delivering. The EU underlines the Libyan ownership of the political process and the importance of its inclusiveness, notably through the continued participation of political and local actors, women and civil society. Political leaders in Libya bear the responsibility for the wellbeing and security of their own citizens. All Libyan actors are called upon to avoid actions that undermine the political transition in Libya and must engage constructively in a meaningful dialogue. The EU will make use of its instruments of support, as well as it stands ready to amend its restrictive measures as necessary to help support peace, stability and security in Libya
2. The EU underlines the urgent need to unite all armed forces under the control of the legitimate civilian authorities as set out in the LPA to ensure stability and preserve the country’s unity and territorial integrity. There can be no military solution to the conflict, and in this respect the EU underlines the need to implement UNSCR 2278. The EU welcomes the creation of the Presidential Guard and the recent deployment of its first units as a major step to protect the institutions created by the LPA, and diplomatic missions in Tripoli. It is ready to explore the possibility of support to the Presidential Guard.
3. The EU reaffirms its full support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Martin Kobler. It welcomes the engagement by Libya’s neighbours and by regional organizations, such as the African Union and the League of Arab States, as positively illustrated in recent meetings in Cairo and Brazzaville, to accompany and facilitate the Libyan political process in line with the LPA. The EU, as one of Libya’s neighbours, will join the efforts of those regional organizations to support the UN mediation. All Libya’s neighbours have the responsibility to play a key constructive role in the resolution of the Libyan crisis. The EU will intensify its dialogue with them, including on their initiatives, in this regard. The EU welcomes the growing international presence in Tripoli following the recent reopening of some embassies.
4. The EU commends the courage and determination shown by Libyans in combating terrorism and pays tribute to the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the fight against terrorist groups. It remains concerned about the threat that terrorism poses to Libya and neighbouring countries. It calls on all Libyans to unite against terrorism, underlines the importance of prevention and reiterates its support to the legitimate authorities in their fight against radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism. The EU is committed to contribute to the stabilisation and rehabilitation of the most affected areas throughout Libya.
5. The EU welcomes progress made at recent Libyan economic dialogue meetings. It calls on all participants, especially the GNA and the Central Bank, to fully implement their agreement to keep the legitimate economy functioning, ensure the necessary funds for government activities , bring the budget under control and end the liquidity crisis. It calls for urgent measures to reform the economy, reduce wasteful public expenditure and improve delivery of basic services to respond to the most urgent needs of the Libyan people. The welcomed increase in oil production should enable the Libyan government to provide the population with more public goods and services, including security, education and humanitarian assistance. The EU calls on all Libyans to preserve the oil infrastructure, and it recalls the UNSC resolutions which state that exports of Libyan oil must remain under the exclusive control of the GNA and the National Oil Company and condemn illegal oil exports.
6. The EU is concerned about the humanitarian situation in Libya, where some 1.3 million people are in need of emergency assistance. It calls for access for humanitarian workers to the people in need and the respect for International Humanitarian Law. More progress needs to be made on ensuring full respect for human rights, strengthening justice, accountability and due process
7. The EU condemns human rights violations and abuses against migrants and urges Libyan authorities to redouble their efforts to improve the protection and promotion of human rights, especially in migrant detention centres, with particular regard to persons in a vulnerable situation. It calls on all parties to ensure unhindered and secure access to the centres for aid workers. To enhance the protection of migrants, help improve the conditions in detention centres, ensure adequate reception facilities, look for alternatives to detention and increase assisted voluntary return from Libya, the EU will use, amongst others, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and will step up cooperation with IOM and UNHCR. It will work with Libyan municipalities to promote alternative livelihoods and support the resilience of local communities hosting migrants, refugees and people in need of international protection.
8. In line with the declaration of the informal meeting of Heads of State or Government of 3-4 February in Malta and the HR/Commission Joint Communication of 25 January, the EU reiterates the need to stem irregular migratory flows along the Central Mediterranean route and disrupt the business model of human smugglers and traffickers The EU remains committed to work with the Libyan authorities in helping to support SSR and to develop their security and defence structures. Recognizing the need for Libyan ownership in helping to address irregular migration flows and saving lives, the EU will continue its activities through different complementary and coordinated activities in the context of Seahorse Mediterranean Network, European Border and Coast Guard Agency and CSDP, in accordance with international law.
In line with the Malta declaration, the EU will give further priority to the provision of training, equipment and other support, with priority given to the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and other relevant legitimate Libyan agencies.
EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia will continue focusing on disrupting the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks. In addition, Operation Sophia will continue implementing its supporting tasks to train the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and to contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo, EUBAM will continue engaging and assisting Libyan authorities in view of a possible future civilian mission, once conditions allow, in the field of police, rule of law and border management. The EU also recalls its determination to help reduce the pressure on Libya’s land borders in close co-operation with Libyan authorities and its neighbours.
9. The EU is implementing a cooperation package worth Euro 120 million, focused on civil society, governance, health, youth and education, migration, security and mediation. The EU continues to provide short-term assistance through various funding instruments, including support to municipalities and the provision of essential services to Libyan citizens in need. The EU has also expanded its humanitarian aid, with Euro 10.8 million in 2016. Improved security conditions on the ground and political stability are paramount for the effective delivery of EU assistance in all parts of Libya, including the remote South. The EU stands ready to increase its engagement to promote stability and prosperity in Libya.