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Resolution on Libya

Resolution adopted at the EPP Congress, St. Julian’s (Malta), 29 – 30 March 2017

  • Bearing in mind 1) that since 2011, Libya has been undermined by instability, internal conflicts and sectarianism; 2) that two authorities are fighting today for power — on the one hand, the Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli and recognised by the international community; and on the other, the so-called ‘government’ of General Khalifa Haftar, in the east of the country — and 3) that ISIS/Daesh and other extremist groups have taken advantage of this political chaos and the lack of stable government and are now threatening the peace and security of the entire region;
  • Deeply conscious that Libyan society is a fundamentally complex society since it has always been organised according to a tribal system which has always played a key role in the political and economic life of the country;
  • Noting that after its presence and influence in Syria, Russia decided in January 2017 to turn to Libya to expand its influence in the Arab world and in the Mediterranean; and that because of its geographical location, Libya is for Russia an outpost on the Mediterranean;
  • Noting with deep concern that in January 2017, the Kremlin decided to explicitly, even ostentatiously, support General Haftar, contrary to the international community and the UN; and that an agreement has been signed with General Haftar regarding the establishment of two Russian military bases: in Tobruk and in Benghazi;
  • Expecting that any measures of this kind will only cause further instability in the country and in the region, with disastrous consequences for Europe, notably with regard to security and migration and ultimately with regard to the political and economic situation as well;
  • Attentive to the strategic geopolitical location of Libya and its proximity to EU Member States, notably Italy and Malta; and with special attentiveness to Russia’s planned military bases in Libya, adding to the already-existing Russian military bases in the EU’s direct neighbourhood — notably in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Syria — thereby cementing Russia’s presence in the region;
  • Noting the warnings regarding the gradual increase of General Haftar’s power, potentially resulting in civil war and increased refugee flows from Libya, and with concern as to the close links between General Haftar and the Russian military;
  • With regard to Russian involvement in Syria, including Russia’s inhumane attacks on Aleppo, contradicting Russian claims to be seeking a diplomatic solution to the war;
  • Noting similar Russian arguments — namely, the need to combat international terrorism — used as rationale to justify Russia’s military involvement in Libya;

The EPP, therefore:

  • Calls on all parties involved, inside and outside Libya, to support both the Libyan political agreement signed on 17 December 2015 as well as its resulting Presidential Council, which is the only authority recognised by the international community and by the UN;
  • Invites all third countries involved either directly or indirectly in the Libyan conflict to recognise the authority of the Presidential Council and to pressure all Libyan parties to cooperate with the Government of National Accord (GNA) and with all those institutions party to the agreement;
  • Demands that all parties in Libya, or any third parties, stop supporting parallel institutions which claim to be legitimate but do not belong to the national unity agreement;
  • Remains convinced that the political process of national reconciliation belongs to the Libyan people, and that it is essential to continue to encourage the inclusive participation of different local and political actors (e.g. minorities, women, civil society);
  • Reminds Russia that Libya has been subject to an arms embargo since 2011 and that any sale or transfer of arms, whether directly or indirectly, to any authority is illegal under international law;
  • Condemns those measures and decisions taken by Russia, including in cooperation with General Haftar, contrary to the international community or the UN, or which undermine the national unity agreement; condemns as well Russia’s plans to establish military naval bases in eastern Libya, further weakening the country’s political, economic and security situation, potentially fuelling civil war and increased refugee flows and ultimately undermining the entire region’s stability and security;
  • Proposes applying economic sanctions against any Libyan or third-party individuals or organisations which threaten the peace, security and stability of Libya and of the region in their efforts to hinder the political process;
  • Calls on the EU and its Member States to further support the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNMIL) and Mr Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General;
  • Encourages the EU and its Member States to continue providing financial assistance to the Libyan authorities to improve the training and equipping of Libya’s coastguard (through the EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia), to increase the voluntary returns of migrants to their countries of origin and to cooperate in the common effort to fight irregular migration;
  • Calls on the EU and its Member States to continue supporting legitimate security authorities in Libya in order to strengthen their capacity to effectively combat terrorism, control the border and prevent the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking;
  • Invites the Libyan government to improve the situation of human rights and to implement the rule of law in the country;
  • Considers that the EU and its Member States should not only focus on the migration issue but also on working with the GNA on issues such as nation-building, stabilisation, rule of law, democracy and human rights by further engaging with local authorities and the Libyan population.