Dbaiba to Berlin II: Four Factors for the “Libya Stability Initiative” to Help Reach December Elections – Al Marsad

The Prime Minister of the Interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid Dbaiba, expressed his thanks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, for the invitation to participate in the Berlin II Conference which started today, and praised their pioneering role in making Berlin I Conference successful.

(LIBYA, 23 June 2021) – Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbaiba, in his speech today at the Berlin II Conference, said: “How different today is from yesterday. On 19 January 2020, the conferees in this hall launched a package of recommendations and pledges, at a time when the war was still continuing, and the sound of the cannon was louder than the sound of dialogue, and the blood of the Libyans was still bleeding.”

He added: “After a year and a half, I now stand in this room entrusted by the Libyans—representing one government— burdened with the tasks entrusted to us, working on the unity and sovereignty of my country in very difficult circumstances, and at a time that requires us to take decisive and historical positions.

“Today we stand at a stage that is still critical but full of hope—now we can say with one voice: There is no return to war, no to tampering with Libya’s wealth, and no to disagreement outside the dialogue table. Today I stand before you so that we can review together the pledges of the Berlin I Conference and the achievements of this stage, which are already many, but also insufficient, as dangers still threaten us and our path for the actual unity and stability of our country, and for it to be a democratic, sovereign, and effective state internationally and regionally.”

Dbaiba explained that after a year and a half after the first Berlin conference, Libya has achieved success with the help of the international community, and the positive role of the United Nations mission in reaching a permanent cessation of the war, and to banishing the spectre of partition. He said the fragmentation and unification of the executive authority, the re-establishment of the functioning of the institutions, especially the Parliament, the cessation of economic absurdity and the closure of oil exports, which resulted in a collective punishment of all Libyans without exception.

He continued: “We are preparing to join east to the west by opening the coastal road linking them, and we will complete these efforts and visit the government and hold a cabinet meeting from Benghazi and the cities of the south in the next few weeks.”

He added: “Today we stand before the Libyan people with a unique honesty, which is to return the decision to the people by allowing them to go to the elections on their specified date, in compliance with the outcomes of the Libyan dialogue and the roadmap, and I will spare no effort in working to overcome all obstacles, to reach this date. This will take place in an appropriate atmosphere that allows the people to choose who represents them; I am here today to ask the friends of Libya for help to prepare the march towards 24 December, and to overcome the common security obstacles represented in combating terrorism and cross-border crimes, and limiting the phenomenon of illegal immigration, and the policies and practices of some international parties which led to the deepening of the crises in Libya.”

Dbaiba stressed that one of the most important outcomes of the Berlin process is to bring together the influential countries in Libya in a common framework for a convergence of views, and now it remains for the Libyan voice to be the basis in these international frameworks and structures, adding: “I am confident about the sincerity of intentions among the participants regarding Libya. From this platform, I welcome all communication, openness and rapprochement between the gathered countries.”

He added, “Now, we are six months away from the expected elections, and, unfortunately, internal dispute and narrow interests are still hindering the process and, despite the improvement that appeared in the work of the institutions, the budget is still not approved by the Parliament, and the sovereign positions have not yet been unified.”

Dbaiba announced that he did not come to any position out of love for survival, but rather in the belief that the approach he represents is the safest to lead Libya at this sensitive stage, and he will not stand as a false witness to some obstructing the Libyans’ right to determine their fate.

Dbaiba explained that, from a position of responsibility, four factors for the “Libya Stability initiative” will be presented in this meeting which will facilitate upcoming elections, in which the Libyans look forward to support from the international community.

THE FIRST FACTOR: SECURITY

Dbaiba explained: “Despite the progress in unifying the security institutions, more work must be done in this field. Also, in order to unify the military institution, there are security concerns about the political process based on the direct armed control of mercenaries in some areas, and the presence of military forces with political dimensions in a number of Libyan regions, and the presence of some terrorist elements. We have started preparing a comprehensive security plan to secure the elections, and we are awaiting the issuance of the upcoming election law for its implementation, and your assistance in starting to cooperate in order to withdraw mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libyan territory and implement Security Council resolutions, especially the resolution 2570 and 2571.”

He added that this plan also remains in need of a budget, mechanisms and equipment, and this also applies to all the necessary steps to overcome this stage.

THE SECOND FACTOR: THE LEGAL PROCESS

Dbaiba said that this process is outside the powers of the government, but it is the fundamental basis on which the elections are built. Unfortunately, we have not yet seen the necessary seriousness from the legislative bodies to move forward in this path. Therefore, he said, we call on all concerned to carry out their duties in order to reach the constitutional base and the prospective election law.

THE THIRD FACTOR: NATIONAL RECONCILIATION

Dbaiba said: “We started working on this file as soon as the government assumed its duties, and I congratulate here the work that the Presidential Council is doing in this field, and we know that national reconciliation is a path and not an event, and it should not be used as a condition for achieving elections but, rather, it should be the title of the next stage and the gateway to political action in Libya. Based on this principle, I stress the need to expedite the return of the displaced inside and outside Libya to their areas, reparation, and allow everyone to effectively participate in the political process without any internal or external exclusion of this participation.”

THE FOURTH FACTOR: SERVICES AND ECONOMIC STABILITY

Dbaiba said: “We know that the government’s priorities lie in resolving immediate and urgent issues related to the lives, security and stability of Libyans, but we also know that everything the government does is what will determine the features of the future. Accordingly, we must work on the present without neglecting the future, and evade difficult solutions by throwing the ball forward. Accordingly, we found it necessary to start addressing the equitable distribution of imports, increasing the level of production, and providing services in all parts of Libya, and creating spatial development through the district system that is still in the process of preparation, and is considered an administrative division to reduce the impact of centralization on the lives of Libyans. In the first three months, we were able to provide relative stability for services, and to resume maintenance programmes for some facilities, in addition to facilitating the access of liquidity to citizens, as well as combating the Corona pandemic, and providing the vaccine as much as possible.”

As for stalled projects, Dbaiba argued that his government had “identified development projects that have high completion rates, in a fair way that covers all areas in Libya (such as hospitals, schools, university vehicles and roads).”

He added, “We have also encouraged the state’s control over public debt, increasing the Central Bank’s reserves of hard currency, laying the foundations for investment in Libyan wealth, through effective and rapid support to the Ministry of Oil and its institutions, securing the maintenance of the man-made river, protecting Libyan assets, and working to benefit from productive investments.”

He continued: “These four factors cover briefly the frameworks that cannot be bypassed, and which must be worked on for the stability of Libya, and access to free, transparent and fair elections. There is no doubt that all of these issues are necessary, needing available and frozen financial capabilities, and an unapproved ready budget. I say it frankly to the concerned Libyan parties: stop the policy of absurdity and hidden obstruction, stop the policy of using benefits as a hostage, and allow people to work. We are going while Libya remains. Assume your historical responsibility so that the people and history may have mercy on you. And I say to those gathered here: abide by your commitments, be on time, and help us deter obstructionists in a clear, consultative and convincing manner.

He concluded by saying: “And to our friends gathered here today, I say: We need you to be convinced that a united and healthy Libya is your best friend, and it will be a partner in Europe, a beating heart in the Arab world, a natural friend of the Mediterranean and Islamic countries, and an established and authentic state in the African Union, in a deep way. It will be a historical and continuous strategist, a historical brother to historical friends through the years, and more recent friends. We want your support to reach the elections, and to fortify the political, security, social and economic tracks.

“Until then, we say to you: we are not blind, and that the international community must listen earnestly and sympathetically to the international Libyan demands, respect Libya’s internal sovereignty, and participate in Libya to reach safety.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)