Ambassador Kelly Craft
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 26, 2020
Thank you, Acting Special Representative Williams, for your update on the increasingly alarming situation in Libya. Especially given the risks on the ground, we applaud the continued work you and the entire UNSMIL and UN country team are carrying out. We also commend Ghassan Salame’s leadership during his tenure as SRSG.
The Security Council now has even greater reason to ensure Libya finds a political path to stability, as continued conflict threatens to fuel the spread of COVID-19. The United States strongly opposes the renewed fighting in Tripoli this week. This is not the time for violence, but rather for all actors to immediately suspend military operations, reject toxic foreign interference, and improve the ability of health authorities to combat this global pandemic.
Just last month, in Resolution 2510, the Council called for UNSMIL-led negotiations on the security, economic, and political issues fueling Libya’s conflict. A pause in fighting will allow these negotiations to resume. External actors must adhere to the Council’s arms embargo and immediately withdraw mercenaries and military equipment. All must support conditions that will permit Libyans to agree on a permanent ceasefire. A continuation of these egregious arms embargo violations would worsen an already volatile situation in Libya, deepening the pain and hardship faced by all Libyans.
Finally, we commend the EU for establishing a new mission aimed at enforcing the UN arms embargo, and we encourage other regional organizations to play a constructive role alongside UNSMIL in promoting Libya’s peace and security.