Western states voice support for Libya's election preparations

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) – The embassies of several Western countries expressed their support in a joint statement Thursday for Libyan institutions to prepare for elections as scheduled.

"The embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US recall the fact that UNSCR 2570 called on the relevant Libyan authorities and institutions, including the GNU [Government of National Unity] and House of Representatives, to facilitate the 24 December 2021 elections and agree the constitutional and legal basis for these elections by July 1," said the statement.

On Feb. 5, Libya's rival political groups agreed during UN-mediated talks in Geneva, Switzerland to form an interim government to lead the country to elections this December. Libyan delegates elected Mohamed Al-Menfi to head a three-member Presidential Council and Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as the new prime minister.

The joint statement also underlined that in addition to the political and security arrangements, the technical and logistical preparations will be also "critical."

"The above-named embassies believe that now is not the time for any disruptive changes at the relevant bodies which enable that preparation to take place within the timescale set out by UNSCR 2570," it added.

Libyans hope the government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

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