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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open VTC on Libya

2020/11/19

Madam President,

I thank Acting Special Representative Williams for her briefing. I welcome Ambassador El-sonni, Permanent Representative of Libya, to the meeting.

The current situation in Libya is taking on positive momentum. The international community should seize the hard-won window of opportunity to promote lasting peace and sustainable development in Libya. I would like to emphasize the following points.

First, we should promote the implementation of the ceasefire agreement. China welcomes the signing of the ceasefire agreement by the parties to the Libyan conflict on 23 October under the framework of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission. We appreciate the parties’ political will to achieve a ceasefire and the work done by Acting Special Representative Williams and UNSMIL. The ceasefire between the two sides in Libya is an important positive outcome in implementing the SG’s global ceasefire initiative and the 2020 initiative of silencing the guns in Africa. It is a good news for the region and the world. Only when the ceasefire agreement is effectively implemented can the hard-won peace be truly consolidated. China calls for an early establishment of a mutually acceptable ceasefire monitoring mechanism. We hope that the United Nations, together with the parties concerned, will soon come up with a plan, continue with this constructive role, and maintain and consolidate the current positive momentum.

Second, we should continue to advance political dialogue. China appreciates the efforts made by Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and other regional and neighboring countries in promoting intra-Libyan political dialogue and welcomes the resumption of the Libyan political dialogue forum. The international community should fully respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libya and persist in promoting a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process under the framework of the United Nations. We look forward to the SG’s appointment of a special envoy as soon as possible. All Libyan parties should prioritize the national interest of the country and the interests of the Libyan people, constantly accumulate mutual trust and properly handle differences to reach consensus on relevant political arrangements and promote their implementation as soon as possible. This is not only about the future of Libya, but also about peace of the whole region. At the same time, we believe that economic development should be integrated into the political process, so as to lay a solid foundation for the lasting peace in Libya.

Third, we must resolutely combat terrorism. Terrorism in and around Libya remains an important threat to international and regional security. The international community should maintain a high degree of vigilance, strengthen coordination and cooperation in an effort to jointly respond to challenges and resolutely combat terrorism in all its forms. In this regard, the prevention of cross-border flow of foreign terrorist fighters should be integrated into the Libyan solution as a whole, so as to avoid the security of neighboring countries being threatened by spillover effects.

Fourth, sanctions should be applied prudently and in a steady manner. We are consistently of the view that sanctions are not an end, but a means, and should always serve the political solution of relevant issues. Under the current circumstances, the arms embargo should be strictly enforced, and military intervention that may intensify the conflict should be avoided. At the same time, the implementation of sanctions should avoid harming the overall interests of Libya and the normal livelihood and humanitarian needs of all Libyan people. Special efforts are to be made to avoid the negative impact on Libya’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madam President,

The Libyan crisis has been going on for nearly 10 years, and there is now a glimmer of hope. But the political process is still with uncertainty and needs to be harnessed by the international community. China will continue to work with all parties to help Libya achieve long-term stability, prosperity and development at an early date.

I thank you, Madam President.

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