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Millett releases statement on anniversary of the PA

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LIBYAPROSPECT – London

The British ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett, released a statement on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, on Friday for the first anniversary of the signing of the Libya Political Agreement (PA) in Skhirat, Morocco. He began by reminiscing the moment the PA went through and how he was happy. He said that “there was a sense that the divisions and polarisation that had plagued Libya since the revolution were over.” And that “now is the time to rebuild Libya to rescue and “recover Libya’s dignity.”

Millett then comes back to reality and write how that hasn’t happened and how slow progress had been, through the many deadlines that have been missed. Deadlines such as “the withdrawal of the militias from all cities and residential areas within 30 days of a ceasefire” and “the endorsement of the Government of National Accord (GNA) by the House of Representatives (HoR) within ten days.”

He expresses his frustration for when he visits Libya; he hears multiple stories and problems people face, such as frequent electricity and water cuts, and a shortage of cash increase in kidnapping and criminality. He added, that “after 42 years of dictatorship and five years of chaos and civil war, the Libyan people deserve better.”

Millett, then, raises the question of what can be done. He goes on to cover the good things that have happened recently with the defeat of Daesh in Sirte; progress against the extremists in the eastern city of Benghazi, and the re-opening of the oil production from the oil crescent area. However, he understands the major issues the country faces, such as the economic meltdown, terrorist violence, and political separation.

He said that even though there are appeals from the International Community to rescue the country, “the national reconciliation can only be achieved between Libyans.” Adding that the International Community can help by facilitating dialogues, and encourage compromise and offer their support, but “the key decisions have to be taken by the Libyans themselves.”

Millett states that he believes that there is no alternative, the likelihood of another group in Libya facilitating and starting a negotiation is highly unlikely. He says that it is better to focus on the PA, and as far as the International Community is concerned “it is not set in stone.” It can still be amended, “there is room to revise it if Libyans agreed to go down that route.”

He reminds the Libyan people that the PA is only an interim, short-term step. The long-term future of Libya necessitates a new constitution. However, the drafting of a constitution is contingent on the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA), an elected body “representing all parts of the country.”

Then, once a new constitution is drafted, Millett says that “Libya needs a government to unify the country.” And that the National Unity is the most effective weapon “to tackle the challenges the country is facing.”