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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Security Council Open Meeting on Libya

2020-01-30 05:00

Mr. President,

I thank SRSG Salamé and Chair of the Sanctions Committee for their briefings, and I welcome the new Permanent Representative of Libya, Ambassador El-Sonni, to this meeting.

Libya has been in the grip of a protracted conflict for nine long years. This conflict, a snapshot of the continued turbulence in Western Asia and North Africa, has inflicted a dire disaster on the Libyan people and jeopardized the security and stability of neighboring countries as well as the entire region of Western Asia and North Africa. The spillover problems arising from the Libyan situation, including arms proliferation, refugees and terrorism, have posed grave challenges to neighboring countries, the region and even the whole world.

China has been closely following the developments in Libya and appreciates recent actions taken by the international community which have been constructive in alleviating the Libyan situation. The international conference on the Libyan question was recently convened in Berlin with a communiqué released, which demonstrates the important consensus reached among all participants. China welcomes this process. To implement the Berlin outcomes with concrete steps will require the concerted efforts of all Libyan parties, relevant regional countries and the international community. As for the Council’s endorsement of the Berlin outcomes through a resolution, we not only need to have a sense of urgency, but should also try to accommodate the concerns of all sides. In doing so, we need to keep the Council united and make every effort to adopt an actionable resolution as early as possible. Let me elaborate on the following four main points.

First, the current priority is to achieve a lasting ceasefire. Parties to the Libyan conflict should proceed from the overall interest of their country and people and aim for an immediate ceasefire to ease tensions and return to the track of finding a solution through peaceful dialogue and consultation. Countries with influence should play an active role by exerting their influence, pushing the Libyan parties to bridge differences and enhance mutual trust, and providing constructive assistance in bringing about a ceasefire And restoring political dialogue. China calls upon the 5+5 joint military commission to convene a meeting expeditiously and strive for positive progress.

Second, global synergies should be formed. The international community should respect Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, support SRSG Salamé and UNSMIL in their good offices and mediation efforts, stay committed to the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process under the UN framework. The African Union and the League of Arab States, being uniquely positioned to mediate a conflict between the parties, should be supported to play their respective role and synergize their efforts with those of the UN. As the Libyan issue is closely linked with the regional situation, any solution should accommodate the legitimate concerns of regional countries and in this regard, the unique role of relevant countries should be brought into play.

Third, unremitting efforts must be made to combat terrorism. Recently, terrorism within and around Libya seems to have resurrected. Therefore, the international community must stay highly vigilant on this trend, strengthen coordination and cooperation, and work together to tackle challenges. It is imperative to combat terrorism in all its forms across Libya and at the same time, guard against the cross-border movement of foreign terrorist fighters. We must never allow Libya to become the breeding ground of terrorism.

Fourth, sanctions measures must be properly and effectively used. China’s consistent position is that sanctions are a means to an end, not an end in themselves, and should always serve the political settlement of relevant issues. Under the current circumstances, it is important to strictly enforce the arms embargo on Libya, and refrain from a military intervention or any action that could aggravate the conflict.

Mr. President,

The year 2020 coincides with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and yet what pains us is that the Libyan people are still living through terrible sufferings. The international community must firmly recommit to multilateralism and Council members must be united to deliver on the mandate of maintaining international peace and security. As a Permanent Member of the Security Council, China will continue to support and facilitate the Libyan political settlement process, support the Libyan people in their pursuit of peace and tranquility and contribute to bringing back a peaceful and stable Livia.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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