EU Spox Denies Any Discussion on Sending a EU Military Mission to Libya at Present Time – Al Marsad

A spokesperson for the European Union’s High Representative for Security and Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, denied there was any discussion of sending a military mission to Libya at the present time.

(LIBYA, 19 July 2021) – In her statements today, Monday, Borrell spokeswoman Nabila Massrali stressed that European support for Libya continues through a civilian and a military mission in the Mediterranean led by “IRINI”.

The spokeswoman refused to comment on what she considered a leaked document issued by the Department of Foreign Relations in the European Union, which includes a set of ideas on the future of European action on the Libyan file. She said that there is no discussion at the moment on an EU military mission in Libya. to support the ceasefire in the country.

“The EU is committed to continue supporting Libya’s return to peace and stability, including through its civilian mission EUBAM Libya and its military operation in the Mediterranean EUNAVFOR MED IRINI,” said Massrali.

She reiterated that the EU wants the Libyan national dialogue to yield tangible results, that the elections take place on time on 24 December, and that the agreed ceasefire agreement be fully implemented.

The EU spokesperson pointed out that the ceasefire agreement stipulates the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libyan territory. “We are in a delicate stage, and there is an opportunity to work on proving the gains that have been achieved in Libya so far.”

A LEAKED EU INTERNAL PAPER

The first news on a possible EU military mission to Libya was by the EUobserver website which leaked an internal paper from the EU foreign service and dated 1 July. The paper argued that Libya’s peace process required “large-scale disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) of combatants as well as a fundamental security sector reform (SSR).”

The paper said: “In this context, an EU military CSDP [Common Security and Defence Policy] engagement should … be considered in order not to leave the entire field of activity in the military domain to third states.”

“In the long term and when conditions allow, a military CSDP engagement with a mandate to support the SSR process in the military domain [should] be considered,” it added.

The paper did not name did not name the third states engaged in competition in Libya, but the EU paper did allude to Turkey, when it said one “third country” had “continued denial of inspections” of suspected arms shipments to Libya in violation of a UN embargo.

The same country, said the paper, “maintains a strong military presence in Libya and provides training to selected armed forces in western Libya”, especially Libya’s coastguard and navy, it noted, after Turkey sent troops to Libya last year.

The EU internal paper is said to have “painted a worrying picture of Libya”, with many foreign fighters and with oil, arms, and human trafficking still going on unabated.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)