Statement by Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at the open VTC of UNSC members on the situation in Libya
We thank Stephanie Williams for her briefing on the situation in Libya.
It is our standing position that the Libyan crisis should be resolved only by peaceful political and diplomatic means. We welcome that the period of armed fratricidal confrontation, that has been tearing the country apart ever since its statehood was ruined in 2011, passed into the domain of negotiations. Our principal approach to the Libyan settlement is based on the need to ensure that it is Libyans themselves who own the decision-making, without any external interference. At various international platforms we have been promoting the idea that any proposals or initiatives must be endorsed by the Libyan sides. Once this condition is observed, chances to reach consensus and promote political process increase manifold.
We commend the ceasefire regime that the Libyan sides agreed on within the 5+5 Joint Military Commission. To sustain the ceasefire, there are further discussions on how to build mutual confidence, i.a. in the civil dimension. We welcome the steps taken to unblock road communications and resume air traffic between the regions of the country. These decisions will help normalize the life of ordinary Libyans and contribute to humanitarian assistance. Creating unified security forces is also an important aspect, as well as making arrangements for a stable functioning of the oil sector, given the understanding that Libya’s natural resources belong to all Libyans.
We remain concerned with continuing violations of Libya’s arms embargo. We are convinced that arms deliveries and supply of mercenaries nourish the conflict. This must end. All the more so because any provocation can disrupt the effective ceasefire. Arms deliveries to Libya going on since 2011, create prerequisites for the spread of terrorist threat throughout the entire African continent.
We proceed from the understanding that in the current critical situation all states that can influence the Libyan sides, should prompt them to further de-escalation. We maintain dialogue with all Libyan sides, and continue to encourage constructive approaches.
We have closely monitored the progress of the first round of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum that convened in Tunis under UN auspices. The sides reached certain agreements on transition period principles. But they still have to discuss some pivotal issues that address parameters of forming efficient national authorities, capable of ensuring unity of the country. We believe that the national dialogue needs representation of a maximum wide range of Libyan groups. This will help ensure the whole population of Libya accept the agreements, it will also save the country from further ordeals.
The UN plays the central role in the Libyan settlement. We appreciate the efforts of Ms. Stephanie Williams, but at the same time we call upon the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy as soon as possible. This process has lingered unjustifiably.