Libya: a hard road ahead (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

The situation in Libya has reached a critical point, when its very survival is in question. The situation has been significantly aggravated due to a growing presence of ISIS and activities of local extremist and terrorist groups seeking not only to implement the “jihadist project” in Libya, but also to spread its influence onto the neighboring states.

The negative impact of the grave situation in Libya is felt in Europe, which faces the influx of illegal migrants from Africa. And what’s more, it has exacerbated the problems of cross-border crime, arms smuggling, drug trafficking. So the inter-Libyan conflict has long outgrown national and even regional boundaries, having become a worldwide problem.

That is why there is an urgent task to help the Libyan people to put an end to civil conflict and achieve a comprehensive national reconciliation. Russia welcomes courage, civic responsibility and commitment shown by the Libyan parties to the compromise solution now on the table. The signing of a political agreement should be a starting point in the reconstruction of Libya, restoring peace and stability there.

It is important that the joint statement issued at the International Ministerial Meeting on Libya (13 December, Rome) gives a clear signal to a broad cross-section of the Libyan society on the need to overcome all the differences in the interests of their country. At the same time, we must be vigilant to the process of restoring confidence between the parties and their cooperation within a unity government not being easy and requiring considerable efforts by all stakeholders.

From the very start of the conflict Russia has been consistently advocating a comprehensive solution to the inter-Libyan crisis based on inclusivity, active involvement in the peace process of all political forces, tribal and social groups. Only a government formed on the basis of a broad consensus will have enough support from the population and will be able to effectively perform its functions, especially in ensuring security. All Libyan political forces should display goodwill and willingness to compromise in the interests of efficient and sustainable national governance.

It is clear that restoring order in Libya will not be easy even after the signing of the peace agreement. This dictates the need for a sustained UN-led international effort. Russia is open to such collective work.