Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Three Years After Counterrevolution Pact Seals Further Imperialist Intervention in Libya
Smoke billowing from Tripoli airport in post-Gaddafi Libya
during 2014.

Thirteen countries along with the European Union and United Nations have called for an end to "outside interference" in war-torn Libya. The group urged an immediate ceasefire and political dialogue.

"There is no military solution to this conflict," the group of foreign ministers from the 13 countries, along with top EU and UN diplomats, said in a communique on Monday after meeting at a hotel in New York. "We call on all parties to accept an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire."

The gathering was convened by US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.

"We reject any outside interference in Libya," the joint communique said. "The people of Libya fought to overthrow 42 years of dictatorship, and we continue to support their effort to transform Libya into a secure democratic state."

International support

The communique was signed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Algeria, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United States and Tunisia.

Many of the countries are suspected of supporting rival conflicting sides in Libya. Egypt and the UAE allegedly carried out airstrikes against Islamic militants in the country over the past month, along with Turkey and Qatar.

The statement issued Monday did not mention the recent airstrikes. It instead supported the efforts by the freshly-appointed UN Special Representative in Libya Bernardino Leon "to secure a negotiated settlement."

A senior State Department official told reporters that Leon is "going to try to bring together the members of the Libyan parliament" to reach an end to the violence, with the support of the countries which met in New York on Monday.

"Every country around that table recognized and reaffirmed the need for a political settlement," the official said.

Violent unrest

Libya has descended into lawlessness since the 2011 NATO-backed overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Nearly 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes following weeks of fighting in the oil-rich country.

The elected House of Representatives in the city of Tobruk is currently competing with the rival government formed after Islamist-allied militias seized the capital, Tripoli, and Libya's second-largest city, Benghazi.

House of Representatives on Monday approved the cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. The internationally-backed parliament agreed to a second cabinet list after the initial 16-member group was rejected last week for being too large, parliamentary spokesman Faraj Hashem said.

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