Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN during the VTC of UN Security Council members on the situation in Libya

Mr. President,

We thank Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General Stephanie Williams for her briefing. 

The situation in Libya remains tense. We are concerned that efforts to stabilize the situation have been stalled. Despite the decision of the Libyan Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army to accept a humanitarian truce aimed at countering Coronavirus spread in the country, armed clashes in Libya continue. But finger-pointing and looking for someone to blame will not help. The conflict in Libya didn’t start in 2019 but in 2011. We should return to diplomacy, cooperation and support to help parties engage in negotiations.

In its statement of March 24, the Russian Foreign Ministry urged all parties to regional armed conflicts to immediately stop hostilities, ensure a ceasefire, and introduce a humanitarian pause. We therefore echoed the respective appeal by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of March 23.

Today we reiterate the call on all parties to the conflict in Libya for cessation of hostilities and respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law.

We are concerned by reported violations of the arms embargo and stress that external stakeholders must stop fueling the conflict. Illegal arms traffic in Libya destabilizes the situation both in the country and in the Sahara-Sahel region.

It is important to take into account opinions and interests of Libya’s neighbors. We are convinced that military solution is not an option in Libya. And we hope that parameters for a sustainable ceasefire in Libya will be agreed and accepted by the parties through a dialogue within the framework of the Joint Military Commission 5+5. In this regards we would like to remind the obvious: it is a Libya-owned dialogue and no decisions should be imposed from the outside. We strongly believe that political settlement in Libya should not be an arena for international competition. We should be guided by the principles of respect for Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

We consider it important that the United Nations plays a central role in the settlement in that country. We pay tribute to the efforts of Ghassan Salame and call upon the Secretary-General to appoint his new Special Representative as soon as possible for the sake of Libyan peace process.

Thank you.