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Cumartesi, Temmuz 13, 2024

Libya On The Rise: Slowly, Surely Coming Back

Mutlaka Oku

By Janet Ekstract ISTANBUL – It was just last year and the beginning of 2024 that a number of countries began reopening their embassies in Libya amid the hope of long-term stability. The country has yet to hold its first free and fair democratic elections and to that end, the Deputy Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Koury, told Libyans via video message on X, that Libya’s special status is the impetus for her to work on the mission Libyans expect from the U.N. Koury said “the United Nations mission remains committed to supporting Libyans in sparing the country the dangers of division, violence and wasting resources by facilitating a comprehensive political process owned and led by the Libyans themselves, including women, youth and all components.” Koury added that she’s committed to supporting holding comprehensive, free and fair national elections to restore legitimacy to Libyan institutions. She also assured Libyans that the UNSMIL will continue to support a comprehensive national reconciliation process with all partners and work with Libyans to fully and sustainable implement the ceasefire agreement, address the spread of weapons and improve the human rights situation and rule of law. As Koury further reiterated: “The Libyan people have suffered enough from the absence of stability and development, and today they face difficult living conditions. It is time to put an end to this suffering.” Koury has urged Libyans to collaborate with one another and with UNSMIL for the unity, sovereignty, stability and prosperity of Libya.

Regarding elections Koury met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aqila Saleh to discuss a vision for Libya going forward that includes resolving the political crisis. Meanwhile, House of Representavies’ spokesman Abdullah Blehiq in a statement to the press, gave his take on ways to end the crisis. As Saleh explained “the solution in Libya is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections and form a unified government whose primary mission is to hold elections as per the will of the Libyan people.”  Koury mentioned on X that she and Saleh had discussed ways to end the current impasse and move the political process forward. To that they agreed its necessary to create favorable conditions for holding free and fair elections that all Libyans can support. Koury also highlighted how crucial it is to build consensus with all concerned parties to move ahead to hold peaceful elections that Libyans can get behind and that meet their aspirations. The goal is for Libyans to choose their own leadership and restore legitimacy to Libyan institutions.

Meanwhile, Koury met with Saleh after meeting with Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi at his office as part of a series of meetings she’s holding with diverse Libyan parties and actors to mobilize support for the U.N. political process that was facilitated several years ago. Municipal elections are coming up and the Chairman of the High National Elections Commission (HNEC), Emad Al-Sayeh met with Koury and her delegation. Under discussion were procedures related to preparing for the municipal elections to be announced at the beginning of July. Also reviewed were the positions of the political parties with regard to the electoral process in general and municipal council elections, specifically. Under review were challenges facing the support project managed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Libya. The need for urgent decisions about advancing the project to support electing municipal councils was emphasized.

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