LIBYAPROSPECT – Tripoli
The United Nations Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, announced, on Monday, that a high-level meeting on Libya will take place, in the coming six months, under the supervision of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
Salame made a conference phone-call from Tripoli with Guterres in his headquarters talking about his proposal to intermediate between the Libyan parties.
Salame stated that Guterres would plan for the high-level meeting on Libya next month in New York to resolve the conflict in Libya.
According to UNSMIL Website, Salame told Guterres that he is “very pleased to be speaking to you from the UNSMIL compound in Tripoli. My presence here is intended to signify the mission’s and my personal resolve to working as closely as possible with Libyans, in Libya.”
He assumed that he was fortunate enough to have already met the head of the Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al-Sarraj and the commander of the Dignity Operation, General Khalifa Haftar, in Paris on 25 July, “and to have exchanged with them ahead of taking up my post.”
Salame stated that “I was also fortunate enough to receive upon my nomination hundreds of calls, letters, and emails from all walks of Libyan society.”
He added that “On 5 August, I made my first official visit to Tripoli and met with the Prime Minister, the Chairman of the High Council of State Al-Sweihli and the following day with Speaker of the House of Representatives Saleh and Libyan officials.”
Salame said that “in each place I have met with political figures, military and security officials and with women, intellectuals, activists, and youth.”
He added that “it is indeed my conviction that our attachment to the Libyan Political Agreement as a reference should not prevent us from reaching out to all Libyans, whatever their status, past positions or present stands. Rather, we must reach out so that there is a reconciliation for all.”
Salame stressed that the Libyan “people are frustrated with their deteriorating living conditions. I passed the same bank in Tripoli repeatedly from ten o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night and saw so many people I thought it was a demonstration. No! They were just waiting to access a fraction of their month’s salary – the equivalent of what’s now worth $25.”
He stated that “the people are tired of the endless cuts in electricity and water, which in turn take down the telephone system and the internet. Libyans cannot understand being poor in a country rich with natural resources. An oil producing country where they must queue for sometimes a day to get 20 liters of petrol.”
He also expressed that “the people’s welfare is, obviously, a fundamental element in Libya’s future stability. I intend to work closely with our partners to ensure that we are fully coordinating in realizing a macro economic vision for the country while helping the authorities provide basic services.”
Salame also told Guterres that “Libya’s problems are not just confined to the Libyan people. The presence of ISIL, of Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups, foreign fighters, and mercenaries, the trafficking of arms and the cross-border black market economy are challenges which extend across Libya’s borders and impact its neighbors and the wider international community.”
Salame stated that “to deliver on our mandate, we continue to prepare to ramp up the presence of the United Nations family in Tripoli and from Tripoli across the country – as security conditions allow.”
He clarified that “there is a window of opportunity, and it is in the hands of the Libyan people to seize it. I would not have assumed this role if I did not believe that a peaceful and positive end to the Libyan crisis was possible.”