AFRICOM Secures Meeting of US Ambassador with Sarraj; Stresses Need for Military Pause and Return to Negotiations – Al Marsad

US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland and Commander of the US Command in Africa (AFRICOM), General Stephen Townsend, met the head of the Presidential Council Fayez al-Sarraj on Monday in Zuwara. 

(Libya, 23 June 2020) – The security arrangements for the meeting in Zuwara were made by AFRICOM, indicating that the GNA is still unable to provide basic security in areas it governs to officials and diplomats let alone for the rest of the Libyan people.

The meeting focused on current opportunities for a strategic pause in military operations by all parties to the conflict, wrote the official website of the US embassy in Libya.

“Ambassador Norland outlined US support for the diplomacy underway through UN auspices to promote a ceasefire and political dialogue. General Townsend presented his military perspective on the risk of escalation, the dangers posed by Russia’s support for Wagner operations, and the strategic importance of ensuring freedom of navigation in the Mediterranean,” added the statement of the US embassy.

“U.S. Africa Command provided the security that enabled this important Department of State engagement with Prime Minister al-Sarraj. We emphasized to the Libyan delegation that all sides need to return to UN-led ceasefire and political negotiations because this tragic conflict is robbing all Libyans of their future,” said General Townsend.

“The current violence fuels the potential resurgence of ISIS and al-Qaeda in Libya is further dividing the country for the benefit of foreign actors and prolongs human suffering. External actors should stop fueling the conflict, respect the UN arms embargo, and uphold commitments made at the Berlin Summit,” said Ambassador Norland.

The US embassy stated that In support of Libyan sovereignty, political stability, security, and economic prosperity, the United States will deepen engagement with the full range of interlocutors from across the country.

© Al Marsad English (2020)

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