European Union ambassadors visited Benghazi on Tuesday and met with the commander of the self-styled army in eastern Libya, Khalifa Haftar, and members of the House of Representatives (HoR).
The EU delegation in Libya issued a statement saying the ambassadors and representatives of the European Union, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden met with Haftar to reaffirm the EU’s support to the efforts of UN SRSG Ghassan Salame towards ending the transitional phase which Libyans have been living through since the February revolution, and to urge all parties to rally behind these efforts to ensure the success of the National Conference which will convene in Ghadames next month.
The EU said it welcomes effective and rules-based action against terrorist groups and organised crime, in compliance with human rights and Libya’s obligations under international law, however; it said it was concerned by reports of human rights and international humanitarian law violations around the country, including those that took place during recent military campaigns in the east and south as well as various ongoing violations perpetrated in western Libya.
"We call for the perpetrators to be held accountable, and urges our Libyan partners to uphold human rights in all circumstances. We also urge all relevant authorities to respect and protect the space of civil society organisations and journalists to carry out their work in freedom and safety." The statement reads.
The EU also hailed the announcement by Salame that the National Conference – which the European Union will support financially – will be convening next month in Ghadames bringing together all key stakeholders.
"We urged all our interlocutors, across the country and abroad, to seize this opportunity to end the current stalemate and usher in a period of stability and prosperity which the Libyan people deserve. We call upon all Libyan parties at this delicate phase to refrain from any incitement, especially through the media, and work towards defusing tension." It adds.
The EU also commended the ongoing discussions between key stakeholders in Libya to end the transitional stage in Libya and reaffirm our support for holding fair and secure national elections, as soon as possible, stressing the vital importance of the female presence in leadership positions at all levels of the state.
"An appropriate framework for effective local governance, based on successful municipal elections and a mechanism for a fair distribution of government revenues, remains a key pillar for the stabilization of Libya. We thus strongly support the announcement by the CCMCE that it will hold local elections in a number of municipalities in the next few weeks, and urge all actors to take the necessary steps to allow the holding of local elections by the CCMCE throughout the country." The EU ambassadors remarked.
The EU said it takes heed of the call of the Libyan people for the restoration of security, and their desire to see unified security and military institutions, free from political, partisan and regional interference and subject to civilian and judicial oversight, thus the EU is committed to remain Libya’s main partner in the security sector, through EU instruments including EUBAM and Member States bilateral assistance, for the benefit of Libyans in all regions.
The EU vowed to support Libya in institution building, improving service delivery and community stabilisation, through projects and programmes, ongoing and committed, amounting to €431 million and implemented in all regions.